Vatican kicks out seven women priests

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THE Vatican yesterday excommunicated seven women who claim to be priests and refuse to repent, saying that the group had wounded the Church.

The women - from Austria, Germany and the United States - participated in an ordination ceremony carried out by Romulo Braschi, an Argentine who calls himself an archbishop but who is rejected by the Vatican.

The Church’s guardian of orthodoxy, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, set a 22 July deadline for the women to reverse their claims.

However, the women did not "give any indication of amendment or repentance for the most serious offence they had committed", the Vatican said in a statement signed by Cardinal Ratzinger of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

"This Dicastery, in keeping with this warning, declares that they have incurred excommunication," the Vatican said.

The statement expressed hope, however, that the women would eventually return to the fold.