That is when a deadline set by the Vatican expired. The deadline came in a "monitum," or canonical warning, issued by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on July 10.

He called on the seven women to acknowledge that the "ordination" was invalid and repent publicly.

The simulated priestly ordination was carried out by an Argentine, Romulo Antonio Braschi, founder of a schismatic community.

In a letter sent to Cardinal Ratzinger on Monday, signed on behalf of the group by German Gisela Forster and Austrian Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, the seven women reject the Vatican warning and call other women to solidarity and "resistance against a Catholic Church dominated by men."

There was no immediate word from the Vatican on the enforcement of the excommunication. The women involved included four Germans, two Austrians and an American.