The priesthood is a shelter for men who can not cope with their sexuality, while misogyny reigns supreme in the church, a prominent scholar claimed on Tuesday.
Trinity College Dublin (TCD) Professor Siobhan Garrigan said it was fundamentally unrighteous that women could not join the priesthood.
Prof. Garrigan made the remarks prior to Pope Francis visit to Ireland this week to attend the World Meeting of Families (WMOF).
"The priesthood has become a shelter for men who do not want to deal with their sexuality," she said.
"That is only one of the problems caused by the fact that women are not allowed to be priests.
"Only men can be priests and they must be celibate, both rules are terrible."
She added: "You must be identified as a man to even start training for the priesthood, which is just fundamentally unjust.
"We should insist on female priests."
Prof. Garrigan said that the church would change its rules to make women become priests, would not solve the problem of womenhien from day to day, but it would be an important milestone for the institution.
"It's just a step towards where we need to be," she said.
"Where we have to come is an end to misogyny.
"Misogyny permeates every aspect of church life."
The Loyola chair of Catholic theology and head of the school of religion at the TCD said that she would be much happier about the Pope's visit if it was not tied to the WMOF.
The WMOF, which starts Tuesday in Dublin, has faced criticism from LGBT + groups, who have complained about being shut out.
"He is coming to celebrate an incredibly exclusive and outdated model and retrograde understanding of family life and of Catholicism," said Prof. Garrigan.
She added: "The views of the Church on sexuality and gender have just caused untold and immense damage.
"There are countless examples of this – of mother and baby houses and sinks of Magdalena on the one hand, and also the pain caused by the terror of sexual abuse, but by the constant attempts of the church to cover up, minimize and perpetuate a culture of secrecy around it. "
The professor described the WMOF event as "a Jingoist propaganda machine for some very outdated ideas, ideas that have done a lot of damage".
"If he came to an event that was in favor of fighting poverty or the end of consumer capitalism, I would be looking to meet him," she said.
Despite her criticism, Prof. Garrigan acknowledged that tens of thousands of people would appear to see Pope Francis, even if they did not agree with all the teachings of the Church.
"People are going to visit him because he is a mega-superstar," she said.
"If we have celebrities from the A-list, then he's a star, star … that's why people go to visit him.
"He is the greatest celebrity that gets it."