As an everyday, practicing Catholic I personally feel that this couldn't be further from the truth. Yes, the office of the Pope is a very important and remarkable characteristic amongst the many sects of Christianity and yes, the sooner a new Pope is elected, the better- but at the end of the day it is not the Pope that makes me Catholic, it is my faith; and that faith will continue on with or without a residing Pope.
That said, I think that it would be in the best interest of the Catholic Church for our Cardinals to elect a Pope who is younger and more willing to acknowledge the past mistakes of the church, especially in regards to the molestation problems it has been dealing with (a topic I'll get into at a later time). Our new leader must be willing to resist calls for secular change, but also know how to make the church's stance on topics relatable for young and new Catholics. He should also be able to speak to the youth of the church in a way that shows them that it is okay to ask questions about their faith and God's role in their lives, and that they do not need to blindly follow to be accepted. Most importantly, I think that the new Pope must have a message of inclusion for all people of all beliefs and all walks of life, because as Jesus taught us with parables like "The Good Samaritan", the body of God is made up of all of humanity, without exception.