Nottambula: what would it take for you to believe that Benedict is not pope? Assuming he did not say the quote above, would you believe he was pope if he DID say it?
Seeing as how the Vatican has gone out of its way to present this as a valid statement made by Pope Benedict (which has now been exposed as fake news), and just as with that whole "Lettergate" scandal proven to be a forgery (manipulating a photo of Benedict's letter to give the appearance that he and Bergoglio are in complete continuity with one another); anything alleged to be said by Benedict in support of Bergoglio, is HIGHLY suspect.
Frank Walker from Canon212.com coined the term "BenedictBot" some time ago. Ann Barnhardt acknowledged this in a blog post the other day. https://www.barnhardt.biz/2019/07/05/canon212-com-s-frank-walker-nailed-it-when-he-coined-the-term-benedictbot-quotes-attributed-to-pope-benedict-are-being-fabricated-by-vaticannews/
This behavior of falsifying statements gives the impression that "Team Bergoglio" knows Benedict is still the true Pope, and is acutely aware that he has a growing number of supporters who believe he has always remained so. But as long as Benedict is under the "care" of Bergoglio (as a virtual prisoner in the Vatican*
) all communications put forth telling us these are Benedict's statements, cannot be automatically presumed to be authentic. (I personally believe the recent essay attributed to Benedict on the sex abuse crisis could have been partially written by him, but that other parts were forged because it didn't sound like him at all.)
As for your hypothetical question on whether I would continue to believe Benedict is still the Pope (if ever he did say "Francis" is), is entirely moot based on the fact that Pope Benedict has not properly renounced the Petrine Office according to Canon Law, specifically Canon 332.2. Therefore, any such statement would be an impossibility to be true.*
Some recent tweets from Veri Catholici:
Bergoglio was never pope but rules by means of hearsay put out by Cardinal Sodano on Feb 11, 2013 with the tacit consent of the Cardinals who wanted B16 out so as to hide the report on Sodomy at the top of the Church Hierarchy.
Immediately after reading Non Solum propter, Sodano stood up in the Consistory and shouted, This announcement is like a bolt of lightning out of heaven! We believe Sodano play acted to hide the conspiracy, just as Bergoglio came to Rome without a spare underwear as a pretense
If this is correct, the conspiracy was not hatched on Feb 11, but in the Fall of 2012, before Ganswein was appointed to the Pontifical Household. That appointment was a concession to B16 to guarantee him certain personal security during imprisonment that was already decided.
This would in turn explain the feverish activity of Bergoglio's agents at Rome in the Fall of 2012, as reported by Henry Sire in @DictatorPope
In retrospect, the imprisonment of Benedict and the Revolution of the Lavender Mafia in Feb 2013 was announced to the world by the universal praise of MSM journalists for Bergoglio and their refusal to investigate the abdication, then and now.
When all the enemies of the Church praise anything, you can be sure its of the devil and criminal.
Lastly, although Louie Verrecchio has seemingly gotten away from his "Resignationist" position (I don't see him writing about it anymore), this was a good article from Aug. 2016. Louie appeared to speculate that Benedict's status is that of a prisoner (sending out red flags); and as I would certainly agree, all roads do indeed lead to Fatima.Benedict’s bombshell goes all but unnoticedhttps://akacatholic.com/benedicts-bombshell-goes-all-but-unnoticed/