Check out this link for an argument that the Cardinals may just decide that Joseph Ratzinger is the only one who can pulls things together . . . What?
That’s right. I do not believe it will happen, but the thought is intriguing. The author uses that Quo vadis, Petre? argument, which readers will know I vehemently disagree with. But in the scenario presented, I believe something else would be happening.
Pope Benedict repeatedly said that he had prayed very hard about his decision and that he was certain it was the correct one. By stepping down, he has given the Cardinals the opportunity of doing something that his present age prevented him from doing effectively: cleaning out the Vatican curia. If anything seems likely, it would be that the problems within the Vatican will be addressed by the next pontificate. If the electors were to actually choose Ratzinger, which again, I find highly unlikely, they would know what is involved. Furthermore, Benedict would emerge from the conclave the most powerful pope, perhaps in all of history.
The possibility, remote as it is, helps to clarify the issues at stake.