The removed bishop shot back, charging in an open letter that he was the victim of an ideological campaign by bishops in league with Vatican officials.
For years, they have been invisible and often afraid to identify themselves. But the women sometimes dubbed "God's rivals" are no longer willing to remain silent.
Twenty-six Italian women who are married to or in relationships with Catholic priests want clerical celibacy to be overturned by the world's bishops when they meet in Rome for their global synod on the family in October.
As fleeting as soap bubbles, showy as peacocks and shallow as an over-primped star, conceited Christians are building their lives on lies and their faith on shifting sands, Pope Francis said.
Everyone is vulnerable to vanity, even Christians, the pope said in a morning homily Thursday.
However, boastfulness "is a very serious spiritual disease" for Christians because it distances them from the truth. Christians are called to "be authentic with the truth of reality and of the Gospel," he said in remarks reported by Vatican Radio.
The Vatican has placed former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski under house arrest as he awaits a criminal trial for sexually abusing young boys.
Pope Francis named five women - a record - to the International Theological Commission. Before now, there have never been more than two women on the commission at a time.
Bishop Bernard Fellay of the Society of St. Pius X met for two hours Tuesday with Cardinal Gerhard Müller of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Pope Francis called for the "globalization of charity" through an international network to fight human trafficking and ensure the rights of migrants and refugees.
The pope's words appeared in his annual message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which in 2015 will be observed Jan. 18. On Tuesday, the Vatican released the pope's message, "Church Without Frontiers, Mother to All."
Bring the Gospel to those who need it most: the poor, the frazzled and the lost, who wander the world without any guidance or protection, Pope Francis told pastoral workers.
Remember the church's ministry is like working a field hospital, where the attitude is helping the wounded and holding those who are hurt more than guarding laws that only keep people away, he said.
There are "so many people who are hurt and they are asking us to be close. They are asking us the same thing they asked Jesus," to be by their side, he said Friday.
Christians are suffering the same "savage attacks" once suffered by Jews, Pope Francis told a delegation of prominent Jewish leaders.
Today's bishops must be as vigilant and courageous as sentinels keeping watch over the faith, and as forgiving and patient as Moses, leading a sinning people across harsh deserts to God, Pope Francis said.
Their vocation is not to be wardens of a failed estate, "but custodians of Evangelii Gaudium ["The Joy of the Gospel"]; therefore, you cannot be without the only treasure we really have to give, and that the world cannot give itself: the joy of God's love," he told new bishops.