The discussion on women's participation in church structures may have been the first such public conversation to take place at the center of the Catholic hierarchy.
Pope Francis has called on Catholic theologians to leave their desks and take their work to the frontiers to "pour oil and wine over the wounds of humankind."
The number of women working for Vatican City State has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, while the number of women in leadership positions in the Roman Curia remains low, with only two women serving as undersecretaries.
Gudrun Sailer, a journalist at Vatican Radio, conducted a study of the Vatican employment situation and published the results Thursday in preparation for the celebration March 8 of International Women's Day.
When people trust in the world more than in God, their heart becomes numb and their eyes blind to those in need, Pope Francis said.
"Worldliness transforms souls, it makes [people] lose touch with reality: They live in a fake world they have made," he said Thursday in his homily at a morning Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.
The couple was beatified in 2008. They are believed to be the first parents of a saint to be beatified, highlighting the role parents play in their children's spiritual upbringing.
Seeing the elderly only as a burden "is ugly. It's a sin," Pope Francis said at his weekly general audience.
"We must reawaken our collective sense of gratitude, appreciation and hospitality, helping the elderly know they are a living part of their communities" and sources of wisdom for the younger generations, the 78-year-old pope said Wednesday at his weekly general audience.
When the Bible says, "though your sins be like scarlet" God will make them "white as snow," it exaggerates, just like God exaggerates in his willingness to forgive people, Pope Francis said.
"The Lord forgives generously," the pope said Tuesday during his early morning Mass. God never says, "'I will forgive you just this much, then we'll see about the rest.' No. The Lord always forgives everything."
"The Lord exaggerates. But it is the truth," the pope said at the Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, where he lives.
Pope Francis on Tuesday approved a set of new legislative norms that formalize his moves to bring financial accountability and transparency to the Catholic church's central bureaucracy.
Pope Francis has appointed an auxiliary bishop known for his focus on addressing poverty and stressing the role of mercy in church teaching as the new bishop of San Diego.
The head of Vatican security said Islamic State militants have threatened the Vatican, but there are no indications of any planned attack.
The Vatican gendarmes, Swiss Guards and the Italian state police that patrol the perimeter of Vatican City State are always on high alert, said Domenico Giani, the commander of the gendarme and the pope's chief bodyguard.