Why doesn't the Catholic Church allow women to be priests?
This decision has nothing to do with a female's abilities. There is no doubt that some women could be better homilists, counselors, and possibly even better in the confessional than some male priests.
The question why women can't be ordained priests is often intermixed with the issues of equality and justice. Many Popes have made it clear that men and women (as far as their gender is concerned) are equal before God (e.g., Mulieris Dignitatem 6).
However, equality isn't identity. Men and women have different though complementary functions. Priesthood is a male function, for the reason that a priest is an icon of Jesus, and Jesus is male. The maleness of Jesus is an important sign of His relationship to the Church, His Bride. As in nearly all cultures a man takes the initiative in winning a wife, so Jesus took the initiative in winning souls and establishing His Church. For this reason, marriage is a “mystery” or sacrament of the Church (Eph 5:32).
In his Apostolic Letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis (1994), the Pope John Paul II, declared that “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.” This definitive statement leaves no “wiggle room” for those who would like to continue debating the question. This question is settled once and for all. There will be no validly ordained women priests.
As an aside, this is not the same issue as for married priests. This is a discipline of the Church versus a teaching of faith or doctrine and could be changed at any time.