Some people may find what I have to say to be blasphemy, but it simply isn't; it's just an opinion (with some of my own sense of humour thrown in). Blasphemy exists only in the mind of the believer in the irrational, invisible and absent god(s).
As someone who was born without any religious beliefs (anyone who tells you different is delusional) and thence raised as a catholic, we made to understand and believe that the pope was appointed to the office by God himself through the actions of his cardinals, who vote after much prayer (and absolutely no exchanging or calling in of favours - no sir, not in THAT Vatican!) in order to be a channel of God's wishes. It's made very clear to the faithful - directly from the pulpit - that old Popey is God's voice on earth as far as the catholic church is concerned. As such, the dogma still goes that upon matters of faith, the Pope is considered to be infallible (although to be fair, Bender has backed away from it a little to admit that sometimes Popes may be wrong about something - maybe he has felt the cold hands of criminal responsibility reaching out for him?).
That's a mighty powerful endorsement of one man's opinions when you think about it. His word is effectively law within the church, he is God's appointee as head of the church, espouses (infallibly) upon matters of dogma and has the power to remove individuals from what is believed to be God's favour through excommunication. It therefore comes as something of a surprise that he can resign from this position! I wonder if God turns the 'direct line' off when he officially steps down (after all, he can't be the master of two servants)? To me the idea of resigning from a God - appointed post (the idea of which I don't agree with, by the way) seems rather in contravention of the beliefs he professed to have had when taking on the mantle...I mean, did God make a mistake in appointing him?
Did God make a mistake by 'making' his health fail and therefore make him unfit to carry on? Of course such speculation is rather naughty and inappropriate, because as we are so conveniently told when odd, strange or bad things happen, God is mysterious and we can't hope to understand.
He is apparently the first Pope to do this within the last six hundred years, and apparently it has only been done four times before in the history of the office - but then again, looking into the history of the catholic church's leaders is an exercise in tracing the faults of human nature.
Far more erudite and more learned writers than I have documented the millenia of abuse, corruption, debauchery, mass murder, genocide etc., etc., which has categorized the history of Popes and an organization which professes to be the 'one true church' and which sells itself as a uniformly positive force for good as the executor of God's will. The idea that someone who was - by his own beliefs - installed by God's will can now resign is yet another condemnation of the fallacies of infallibility, piety, inherent 'goodness' and holy wisdom. This pope, remember, is the same man, who despite having in the early 2000s issued instructions to priests and bishops to not cooperate with any investigations into child sex abuse allegations, was elected by his peers and has since failed to unequivocally condemn those responsible for the institutionalized and systematic abuses of the church, usually visited upon the most vulnerable.
Catholic Popes have a very poor record with regard to human rights - in fact with regard to the word 'right' in general. Despite the fact that no evidence exists for the rational human to believe in a superstitious invisible and absent god or gods, I would hope that when a new Pope is chosen, he (there can of course be no 'or she' about it) proves to be someone with the strength of character and integrity to start talking sense and to start giving away the billions of dollars which the catholic church still holds in the form of cash, securities, land, buildings, art works etc. etc., to those people who need REAL help.
I won't hold my breath, though.