Right. So, just suppose that PF, faced with increasing calls for his resignation, resigns. What sort of successor do you think a divided College of Cardinals might elect? My guess is that they might elect someone whom the majority thought would at least not increase the divisions in the Church. A Pope whose aim would be, not to reverse the acts of PF, but somehow to draw a divided and sorely wounded Church together again. This would be a timorous but not ignoble aspiration.
But suppose the next Conclave were to elect a vigously orthodox and unambiguously Catholic pope ... let's call him Leo XIV. Suppose, as some commenters on this blog have liked to imagine, this pope were in some way to cancel certain elements of the 'Magisterium' of PF ... or even its entirety. Good. A new start. Yes?
But ... where would that leave us?
It would leave us with a fatally compromised and weakened Magisterium.
Because if Leo XIV can scrub out the Magisterium of Francis I, it is not easy to see upon what grounds the subsequent pope Francis II can be told that he is acting ultra vires if he tries to scrub out the Magisterium of Leo XIV.
It seems to me that by trying to scrub out the Magisterium of S John Paul and of Benedict XVI, PF has created a logical conundrum to which it is not easy to see the answer. He has damaged the ability of any pope, 'liberal' or 'traditional', ever again to use effectively the Petrine Ministry.
The only 'Magisterium' which could 'trump' that of any Roman Pontiff would be that of a Pope sitting in and with an Ecumenical Council. But who wants to go down that path? The conventional assumption that doctrinal definitions of such a Council must rest upon moral unanimity would probably mean that, even in merely prectical terms, such a Council might not deliver its expectations.
Through his wilful behavour, PF has created the inevitability of an eventual (however long it may take) schism, which will be so much the more disastrous than the last great schism of the Latin Church because it will not merely be jurisdictional, but will involve large and fundamental doctrinal elements of discord.
It is likely to take generations before the full effects of the present pontificate are finally visible.