Andrew Medichini, Associated Press
Pope Francis arrives to attend an afternoon session of a two-week synod on family issues at the Vatican, Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014.

VATICAN CITY — Catholic bishops predicted widespread approval Saturday of a revised document laying out the church's position on gays, sex, marriage and divorce, saying the report is a "balanced" reflection of church teaching and pastoral demands.

The final report of the two-week meeting of bishops will be voted on later Saturday. It was rewritten to incorporate amendments to a draft released earlier in the week which had shown an unprecedented openness toward gays and Catholics who live together without being married.

Conservatives had harshly criticized the draft and made extensive revisions to restate church doctrine, which holds that gay sex is "intrinsically disordered" but that gays themselves are to be respected, and that marriage is only between a man and woman.

Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Brazil, Cardinal Oswald Gracis of India and Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi of Italy, the Vatican's culture minister, said they all would approve the revised text and that they expected the majority of their fellow bishops would do the same.

They said the document was "balanced," ''positive" and "open."

"It's accepting everybody, embracing everybody, wanting to embrace everybody, a pastoral approach of the church today," Dias said.

At the same time, though, some hot-button issues weren't settled and will be put off until a subsequent meeting of bishops next year, he said.

The draft report had signaled a radical shift in tone, saying gays had gifts to offer the church and their partnerships, while morally problematic, provided gay couples with "precious" support. The church, it added, must welcome divorced people and recognize the "positive" aspects of civil marriages and even Catholics who live together without being married.

The proposed amendments were nearly unanimous in insisting that church doctrine on family life be more fully asserted and explained and that faithful Catholic families should be held up as models and encouraged rather than focus on family problems and "irregular" unions.

The bishops signaled a similar tone in a separate message directed at Christian families released Saturday. There was no mention whatsoever of families with gay children, much less gay parents, and it spoke of the "complex and problematic" issues that arise when marriages fail and new relationships begin.

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