Dear Father Gregory,
I am not sure why using the argument from Genesis would be embarassing. Surely we are made male and female, and surely the differences between the genders are rooted in our creation and not merely in culture.
I never suggested anything about pain in childbirth, but it does seem to me that the Genesis account roots our differences in God's purposes and not in human social constructs. The fact is that women are birth-givers, mothers, and nurturers in their own nature. This is different from the nature and responsibilities of of men. These are God given and God purposed differences.
There may well be men who are bad examples of men, and women who are good examples of men. But that does not diminish the differences according to nature of men and women.
A particular woman may be a better priest than a particular man, but that does not mean that women should be priests, or that the bad priest should ever have been made one.
I am not convinced that intelligence, theological ability, or education are any requirement for the priesthood. I am not saying that priests should be stupid, but the priesthood is not about organising or even leading, it is about pastoring and about spiritual fatherhood. Many priests may be poor priests, many priests should perhaps not have been ordained, but that does not seem to me to require that we compare people based on natural abilities.
I have lived with a woman for 21 years, observed my mother before that, and have spent the last 19 years with boy and girl children. It is my experience that there is a difference in nature between them as regards gender. And I find that in the beginning of the Scriptures. I am not sure why using the passage from Genesis is embarrasing? To whom?
In the beginning God made them male and female.