Pope Francis on Sunday told an assembly of bishops at the Vatican who scrapped language welcoming gays to the Roman Catholic faith not to fear change.

Last week, the church released a groundbreaking draft report which asked Catholics to consider acceptance of gays. Conservatives criticized the move and the bishops responded by watering down the language.

The new version replaced the title “Welcoming homosexuals” with “Providing for homosexual persons” and altered a reference to gay unions as constituting “precious support in the life of the partners” to constituting “valuable support in the life of these persons.”

According to the AP, the revised language did not receive the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

At a ceremony where he beatified the late Pope Paul VI, which took place at the conclusion of the bishops' assembly, Pope Francis, who wants to modernize the church, told the thousands gathered inside St. Peter's Square that the church has to adapt as society changes: “By carefully surveying the signs of the times we are making every effort to adapt our ways and methods to the growing needs of our times and the changing conditions of society.”

“God is not afraid of new things. That is why he is continually surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways,” he added.

In an unusual move, Francis insisted that the paragraphs that failed to pass be included in the full document along with the voting tally, allowing the conversation to continue. Bishops will meet next October to produce a final report.