CHICAGO (CBS) — Archbishop Blase Cupich said Pope Francis’ recent writings on “The Joy of Love,” calling for compassion toward “imperfect” Catholics, including the divorced, is not about a change in doctrine, but “reform of the church.”

Cupich said the document represents a radical change that comes from a “pope of surprises.”

“The average Catholic is going to find that what the pope is saying here is very arresting, and new, and creative, and imaginative. He is saying things they haven’t heard before with regard to the church. He talks about the need for families to be tolerant with each other in situations where people’s lives are not perfect,” he said.

The archbishop of Chicago said the pope made no changes in church doctrine, but some Catholics will be puzzled at his words.

“I think that the average Catholic is going to find a lot in this document that is going to encourage them. So this is not about a reform of rules, it’s about reform of the church. It’s about having a very radical change in the approach that we have to people who live everyday lives, and struggle to be faithful to the gospel, and accompany and integrate them,” Cupich said.

The document calls for leadership not from the top down, but the bottom up. The pope has called upon parish priests and pastors to help integrate divorced couples and single parents back into the church. It’s also a guide for the church’s more than 400,000 priests, who he asks to welcome people who have felt unwelcome at Catholic churches in the past, due to their personal relationships.

“We have been called, he reminds pastors, to form consciences, not to replace them,” Cupich said.

While the Pope still condemned divorce as “evil,” he also called for allowing those who are remarried without an annulment to still receive communion, CBS News reported.

“It is important that the divorced who have entered a new union should be made to feel part of the Church. They are not excommunicated and they should not be treated as such, since they remain part of the ecclesial community,” he wrote.

The pope also reaffirmed the church’s opposition to same-sex marriage.

“There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analagous to God’s plan for marriage and family,” the document said.

At the same time, the document states every person, regardless of sexual orientation, should be treated with dignity and respect, and discrimination “is to be carefully avoided,” particularly any form of violence.

“He makes clear that doctrines are at the service of the pastoral mission. He also notes that this call for a more compassionate pastoral outreach of accompaniment, discernment, and integration – one marked by tenderness – will leave some perplexed,” Cupich said.

The pontiff also addressed gender identity, where he said to “accept our humanity, as it was created,” without specifically calling for the acceptance the transgender community has sought from the Catholic church.

“There are no changes in doctrine in this document, and in fact the pope urges the church not to step away from proposing the full ideal of marriage,” Cupich said.

The 260-page document is the result of two years of bishops discussing the issues that face Catholics around the world.

Cupich said it will serve as a roadmap that will shape discussions about marriage and family life, but is not about increasing “market share” for the church.

“That’s not what this is about. He really cares about people. He wants to make sure that they are served well by the church. SO it’s not about doing this so that we increase their attendance at mass, but that we really accompany them, and integrate them, and let them know that they’re not alone, and that the church shares the joy of their family,” he said.

Cupich said he will continue to study the document, and seek input from his advisors before giving any instructions to the priests in the nation’s third largest Archdiocese. The goal is integration, because, according to the pope, “No one can be condemned forever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel.”

Pope Francis has warned in the past that the Catholic Church’s moral structure might “fall like a house of cards” if it doesn’t balance its divisive rules about abortion, gays and contraception with the greater need to make it welcoming and merciful.