Rosemarie Smead, of Bedford, Ky., a former cloistered nun, was named a priest by the Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests -- a group with no association with the Catholic church -- in a ceremony heavy on feminist imagery, The Louisville Courier-Journal said.
The women said the church's failure to ordain women as priests amounts to sexism.
"Sexism in church and society is sinful and should always be challenged," Bridget Mary Meehan, a bishop in the group, said.
The Roman Catholic Church said anyone who attempts to ordain a woman priest faces excommunication. Church doctrine holds only men can be named priests because Jesus Christ appointed only men as his disciples.