Can a bride have a man of honor in place of a maid of honor? My priest will not allow me to have a male as my person of honor since it “breaks tradition.”
The Church’s only interest in the matter is that there be two witnesses to the marriage. Whether or not those witnesses also act as honor attendants (which has become customary) is not something the Church takes an interest in. Theoretically speaking, there is no reason why you cannot ask a man to be your honor attendant and/or witness to the marriage.
Practically speaking, is this really something over which you need to fight with your wedding celebrant? If the gentleman you have in mind is a special relative with whom you have a particularly close relationship (e.g., brother), or if you have no one else to fill that role, then yes, the fight could be necessary. In that case, ask the priest to show you documentation from the Church substantiating his assertion that you cannot have a man act as a bridal honor attendant. But if you are doing this merely because you think it “hip” to flout established social custom, or if there is a woman in your life who could take on the role without significant difficulty, then it could be better to accede to the priest’s wishes (even if he is not being entirely just by making his preferences mandatory).