In other words faced with your own opinion that there's 'doubt' on this issue; based in fact on the speculation that there must be doubts on the issue. It's a self-fulfilling argument then. I could say "No church council has ruled categorically that children/minors can't be priests", (this itself may be proven a bad analogy, if in fact there is such a ruling). And the mere fact that there is no ruling, would cause me to declare, as you have that it is an 'issue', even though it's not because I'm the only one raising it...
*- is there an age limit on priests?
This actually touches on one of the fundamental motivations
(the spirit!) of the canonical tradition's stipulations about potential ordinands, viz. they must be above reproach
. Of course, this standard comes from St. Paul himself, who spelled out the "qualifications" for a Bishop in 1 Timothy 3. The canons develop this idea in both a personal and a social way. Thus, the potential cleric should actually possess
a moral life AND should be thought
to possess such a life by the community.
The former part comes naturally to us today -- of course the priest should be moral! But the canons are very concerned that the priesthood as an office, and the authority that comes from that office, not be diminished in stature by publicly known sin/scandal/compromise to the world, e.g. having cohabited before marriage, getting a divorce, going into or owning a bar (eventually, even owning a business!). All of these are either forbidden to the priest or constitute an "absolute" impediment to his ordination. Thus, the canons are concerned with far more than personal moral character. What outright, necessary sin is there in owning a business? Yet, this could be perceived
by members of the Church (and the public) to compromise the priest's integrity, to present conflicts of interests and favoritism, and, ultimately, to undermine the spiritual authority of the priesthood as an institution. Thus, so that the priest might be "above reproach" -- i.e. there be nothing that anyone could reproach him for -- the priest must conform to certain standards of public decorum.
After liturgy today, I was speaking with a learned priest about this, and he pointed out that AGE and MALENESS fall under this same category. For the priest to be above reproach, he must be of the sort which society defines as a mature adult with public standing. A certain child, for example, may be quite holy and Christ-like, yet he is not above reproach, since many could reproach him and his "leadership" as infantile, immature and inappropriate.
Enter the gender thing. Even in today's society, I fear that being a woman is not, in this sense, "above reproach." Whether or not this SHOULD be the case is another matter, but, so long as such public perceptions persist, it would go against the spirit of the canons to introduce female priests. (As we have seen on this board, MANY Orthodox would reproach such a priest!). If one is searching for theological reasons, I fear this doesn't explain much, but it is, in fact, a rather ecclesial and pastoral insight that reminds us of one of the key concerns of the canonical aspects of priesthood.