For the first time in six centuries, a reigning Roman Catholic pope voluntarily resigned from church leadership at the Holy See. Citing deteriorating health and a lack of strength in both mind and body, Pope Benedict XVI will step down at the end of February, leaving many questions as to who will succeed him and what kind of changes the Catholic Church will see in the coming years in an increasingly secular world.
Following the death of John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI took a theologically conservative approach to papal leadership– which was sometimes decried as being vastly out-of-touch with the modern world. One critic was Christopher Hitchens, who wrote a piece in Slate on the “The Great Catholic Cover-Up” and how Benedict’s reign had a “stench of evil” about it.
Hitch joined his friend Stephen Fry at an Intelligence Squared event in 2010 to discuss the hypocrisy that lay in Roman Catholic doctrine and the misguided nature of Benedict’s reign, especially when it comes to the subject of human sexuality.