Also in this case, no one can pretend to know the personal thoughts of Benedict XVI. Certainly Pope Bergoglio was not elected by him, but by a College of Cardinals that clearly had no knowledge of the candidate during a conclave and pre-conclave of which there are many details that still need to be clarified.
But, as far as what concerns the resignation and his choice to be “Pope Emeritus,” I believe that, based on the documents in hand, it is now clear that Benedict XVI did not intend to resign — or totally resign — the Petrine munus.
As Archbishop Ganswein explained in his famous conference at the Gregorian University:
“Both before and after his resignation, Benedict understood and understands his task to be a participation in such a “Petrine ministry.” He left the papal throne, and yet, with the step taken on February 11, 2013, he has not abandoned this ministry at all.“
There is another passage from Archbishop Ganswein that I would like to highlight:
“He has not abandoned the office of Peter, a thing which would be completely impossible for him following his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005.“
To me, these seem to be explosive words (and they have never been denied by Pope Benedict). The closest collaborator of Benedict XVI explains to us that for Joseph Ratzinger “the acceptance of the office” of Peter is “irrevocable” and to abandon it is “totally impossible.” Although the Vatican continues to pretend that everything is clear, we the Christian people are allowed to ask questions about what really happened in February 2013 and what is the place of Benedict XVI in the Church today.
-Antonio Socci quoted at ChurchMilitant.com under Aldo Maria Valli’s byline