This is not a new debate. Among the scholars who have weighed in on the issue, Paul Lakeland wrote a book 37 years ago called, Can Women Be Priests? He's the director of the Center for Catholic Studies at Fairfield University, a Jesuit school in Connecticut. There is no sound theological reason why women can’t be ordained,” Lakeland said.He continues to support women's ordination and knows another woman priest who runs a small parish just outside of Boston. Most theologians would say that Jesus didn’t ordain anybody,” Lakeland said.He added that the development of ministry took several centuries, and given what we know about men and women today compared to what we thought about men and women 2,000 years ago, “there’s no reason that ordination could not be extended to them. But there are many conservative Catholic theologians who would not agree with me.”
"But for Gabriella Velardi Ward — and the other Roman Catholic Womenpriests — they are not waiting for permission from Rome. The change has happened. Ward defines herself as a Catholic priest, leading a parish, looking to enhance the ministry she provides to her congregation.While the Vatican has clearly stated its position against women priests, the future of this movement will depend on whether everyday Catholics are open to embracing a new tradition."