When Pope Benedict announced he was retiring (something which hasn’t happened in more than six centuries) speculation began almost instantly as to his motivations. Is he truly too old to rule as he suggests, or is there much more lying beneath the surface? I have been a longtime champion of the world’s most peaceful religions — a group which absolutely does not include the Catholic Church in all its bigotry, prejudice, and outdated belief system. So when I heard that Pope Benedict was calling it quits, one of the first things I thought about was how this retirement announcement opens the door for an unprecedented opportunity for the Vatican. If Catholics have any hope of salvaging their religion, the first thing they must do is eliminate this antiquated need for an ordained leader. The office of the Pope, after all, is the one thing preventing Catholicism from adapting to the needs of the 21st century, yet I have a nagging suspicion that the Cardinals will still feel the need to fill Benedict’s post. For a brilliant explanation of why the office of the Pope’s seat needs to remain empty you can check out Christopher Hitchens‘ exceptional debate segment below, or read more from Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini who, before his passing, tried to sound the alarm bell that the Catholic Church is indeed 200 years out of date by CLICKING HERE.