The pontiff is faulted for not offering a concrete plan to hold bishops accountable when they fail to protect their flocks from predators.
Author Frederic Martel details a gay subculture at the Holy See and says Catholic bishops and cardinals are leading double lives.
The resignations signal deep internal problems as Pope Francis makes reforms in the wake of a global sex abuse and cover-up scandal.
In his annual speech to Vatican bureaucrats, he vows that the church will "never again" hide the crimes of those who have molested children.
Robert Gregory Bowers, accused of killing 11 in Pittsburgh on Saturday, told officers after his arrest that Jews were committing genocide, according to charging documents.
Pope Francis shows an affinity for Paul VI and set a goal to make him a saint. He views Romero as a true martyr who was gunned down while working with El Salvador's poor.
Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, head of a delegation of U.S. Catholic leaders going to the Vatican to discuss the abuse crisis, is accused of not doing enough to stop a priest now arrested on sexual misconduct charges.
"I've never seen anything like this before," says one activist about the laity's engagement in seeking reforms amid new revelations of sex abuse by priests and allegations of widespread cover-ups.
The Vatican's retired ambassador to the U.S., in a letter that includes an anti-homosexual diatribe, alleges Francis knew in 2013 about sexual misconduct by the archbishop of Washington.
The Roman Catholic Church leader says he shares the outrage over the church's role in concealing the "repugnant crimes" and commits to end the "scourge." Victims say his words need to be backed by action.