Townsville Bishop Michael Putney has spoken about same-sex marriage, saying there is sympathy within the local church, reports the ABC.
Bishop Putney is in the process of completing a survey on family issues including contraception, sam-sex marriage and divorce for discussion at next year's Catholic synod.
Catholic bishops around the world are completing the questionnaire at the request of Pope Francis. 'This is unprecedented, but it is typical of the new Pope,' says Bishop Putney.
'Wanting to change...the synod so that it becomes far more consultative and far more participative of the whole Church.
During consultation with the local diocese Bishop Putney has discovered a great deal of sympathy for homosexual people. 'There's no circle of friends that we have that doesn't contain gay people and this is true of bishops and priests and every Catholic. They must know first of all that we love and accept them,' he said.