As an antitheist, I detest most aspects of most religions. However, let me give you a few ways in which the worst Pope you can think of is better than the best head of government (of your country) imaginable.
CHOICE. You don't have to be a Catholic. You have that choice of the worst misogynistic homophobic Pope having little to no impact on your life directly. You don't have that choice with government. Your vote has an approximately 0.00000% chance of changing the outcome of an election, so you do not choose your president, your peers do. You just have to live with that choice, and whatever policies it may bring with it. It's also not very practical to move away to escape the authority that's claimed over you just to land yourself in an area of another similar authority.
POWER. Even if you are a Catholic, the Pope can't throw you in jail for not following the rules and commands no enforceable authority over you. Suppose the bad pope says that gays should be stoned to death. You can just ignore that, and keep having gay friends. A governmental decree of even the best intentions can often result in very negative unintended consequences. Unlike a papal decree, it cannot be ignored. If you do ignore it, violence will be used against you via financial fines escalating to imprisonment, and finally death if you resist. The Pope can scare a true believer shitless with hell fire, but wields no physical power over them.
LEGITIMACY. To most critical thinkers out there, it's obvious that the Pope has no legitimate authority at all past the actual merits of his argument. Unfortunately, those same people are willing to grant massive legitimacy and power to a government leader simply for using the democratic process. Just keep in mind that Hitler was democratically elected, and in my opinion, the democratic process can never legitimize anything that's not already legitimate to begin with.
SHORTER ELECTIONS. The ridiculous spectacle doesn't last months or years, which is quite a relief. We can all move on so much quicker without having to deal with it day in, day out. No celebrity endorsements, no biased mainstream media editorials, no lies by candidates for us to hear.
Listening to: BNP Paribas Open 2013
Reading: strength training articles and papers
Playing: ANKLE SPRAIN :(