The thing Benedict attempted to do in a series of events 11-28 February 2013 was fully explained by his priest-Secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, in a speech delivered at the Pontifical Gregorian University at Rome on 20 May 2016. Note that +Ganswein speaks as if Benedict actually pulled it off, which he did not. Because altering the intrinsic nature of the papacy, an office which was Divinely Instituted, is impossible. Thus, this Substantial Error wholly invalidated his resignation per Canon 188, and he remained pope until his death 31 December 2022. Spread the word.
“There are not therefore two popes, but de facto an expanded ministry — with an active member and a contemplative member. This is why Benedict XVI has not given up either his name, or the white cassock. This is why the correct name by which to address him even today is “Your Holiness”; and this is also why he has not retired to a secluded monastery, but within the Vatican — as if he had only taken a step to the side to make room for his successor and a new stage in the history of the papacy which he, by that step, enriched with the “power station” of his prayer and his compassion located in the Vatican Gardens… he has not abandoned the Office of Peter — something which would have been entirely impossible for him after his irrevocable acceptance of the office in April 2005. By an act of extraordinary courage, he has instead renewed this office (even against the opinion of well-meaning and undoubtedly competent advisers), and with a final effort he has strengthened it (as I hope). Of course only history will prove this. But in the history of the Church it shall remain true that, in the year 2013, the famous theologian on the throne of Peter became history’s first “pope emeritus.” Since then, his role — allow me to repeat it once again — is entirely different from that, for example, of the holy Pope Celestine V, who after his resignation in 1294 would have liked to return to being a hermit, becoming instead a prisoner of his successor, Boniface VIII (to whom today in the Church we owe the establishment of jubilee years). To date, in fact, there has never been a step like that taken by Benedict XVI. So it is not surprising that it has been seen by some as revolutionary, or to the contrary as entirely consistent with the Gospel; while still others see the papacy in this way secularized as never before, and thus more collegial and functional or even simply more human and less sacred. And still others are of the opinion that Benedict XVI, with this step, has almost — speaking in theological and historical-critical terms — demythologized the papacy.”
Readers of this space will know that last term. There are 300 pages of the +Miller Dissertation from 1980 explaining the decades of efforts among German theologians to pull off just such a thing in the 60s and 70s. It was sort of a big deal.
Today is also he traditional feast day of that time the Blessed Virgin Mary revealed, or rather confirmed, the doctrine of her Immaculate Conception, not to Cardinals or bishops, but to a destitute, illiterate 14 year old girl. The townspeople tried to have her declared insane and put away. Take heart.