The world might be moving forward, but Vatican is not impressed.
It has issued a decree warning that women ordained as priests would be excommunicated from the church itself.
And those who ordain them too would meet with a similar fate.
In fact by the very act of ordination those concerned would stand excommunicated, stresses the decree published in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.
The decree was signed by Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith.
People excommunicated from the Catholic Church are forbidden from receiving the sacraments or sharing in acts of public worship.
Rev. Tom Reese, a senior fellow at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University, said he thought the decree was meant to send a warning to the growing number of Catholics who favour admitting women to the priesthood.
"I think the reason they're doing this is that they've realised there is more and more support among Catholics for ordaining women, and they want to make clear that this is a no-no," Reese said.
But Regina Nicolosi, a program coordinator for Roman Catholic Womenpriests (sic), and who was ordained two years ago, remained defiant.
"We have come not to take that too seriously," said Nicolosi, a 66-year-old married mother and grandmother who lives in Red Wing, Minnesota, and said her group had 40 to 50 women priests, none of whom were recognized by the church hierarchy.
"It's one of the very last patriarchal hierarchies in the western world, and I don't know when they will be ready to let go of that."
She predicted that the church's resistance would backfire. "This is bringing more and more women into our group, and I think we're getting more support from Catholics who are saying this is getting ridiculous," she said.
The Church says it cannot change the rules banning women from the priesthood because Christ chose only men as his apostles. Catholic law states that only a baptised male can be made a priest.
But advocates of women's ordination say Christ was only acting according to the social norms of his time.
They cite the letters of Saint Paul, some of the earliest texts of Christianity, to show that women had played important roles in the early church.