The Catholic Church has rejected proposals to relax opposition to same-sex couples.

Bishops are currently holding an ‘extraordinary synod’ to consider the church’s future approach to families values, amid fears that it has become out of touch with modern Catholics.

A proposal document on Monday said that although no official change in stance will be made with regards to same-sex marriage, the Catholic Church must learn to respect the positive aspects of gay couples.

In a second draft, watered down to appease more conservative bishops, the section originally titled “welcoming homosexuals was retitled “providing for homosexual persons”, and the overall tone of the document became less accepting.

However, even with the changes, the proposal today failed to pass through the synod with a two-thirds majority, and was stripped from the final report – meaning that the Church will maintain its current policy.

According to AP, the watered down measure was supported by a vote of 118-62 – short of the numbers needed.

Current Catholic doctrine teaches that homosexuality is ‘intrinsically disordered’.

Another landmark reform – allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive communion – was also rejected, while there will be no changes to most substantial policy matters.

Vatican spokesperson Father Federico Lombardi attempted to mitigate the loss, claiming: “This text is something of ‘a walk’. There is so much terminology, to say it is ‘approved’ or ‘not approved’ is not adequate.”

More to follow.