Q. Why can’t women be Catholic Priestesses?
A. Jesus’ choice to be born male was not accidental or arbitrary. First of all, in the sacrificial system of Israel the Sin Offering and the Passover Lamb were always perfect MALES. Other offerings could be either male or female but not the Passover Lamb or the Sin Offering. Therefore, since, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ fulfills all the sacrifices, but most especially the Sin offering and the Passover lamb HE was incarnated as a MAN. And, of course, God chose this pattern of male sacrificial animals in the OT in foreknowledge of the sacrifice of His Son.
Also, the people of God, both Israel and the Church, have always been imaged in sacred scripture as a Bride with God as the Bridegroom (Is 62:5 and Rev. 21:9). In the Catholic faith the priest acts in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) as Jesus celebrates the sacraments for His bride, the Church, through the actions of the male priest. The Church, as bride, is in a spousal relationship with Christ the bridegroom. This beautiful image culminates in the wedding feast of the Lamb at the end of time. This typology of the spousal relationship is fittingly imaged by the male priest. Priestesses or womenpriests would project another typology altogether but it would not be Holy Matrimony.
Q. Aren’t women second-class citizens in the Catholic Church?
A. Absolutely not. The most revered status in the Catholic Church is open to both men and women. Contrary to popular opinion the Pope, although highly honored is exceeded in honor by the Saints and the Doctors of the Church. There are hundreds of female saints. And, out of 33 Doctors of the Church, three are women. Also, the most highly honored human person (excluding Jesus) in the history of the Church is a woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary.
You can read more about the Priesthood—->Priesthood of All Believers