You could even argue that he did turn it down…three times. Yet, God still called him.
At the same time, when Jesus came to Peter before He told Him he was to be the rock on which He’d build His Church, Jesus made Peter affirm Him three times
In any case, would you say that Pope Benedict was in error for resigning then? If it is God’s will that one is Pope, how can one simply resign?
It could be God’s will that a particular Pope serve for some time and then resign. We all have to do our best to discern God’s will in any situation. I have no doubt that Pope Benedict did his due diligence in discerning God’s will before resigning. In any event, I would think in most cases regarding the papacy, we are dealing with God’s permissive will. He doesn’t necessarily positively will that any particular person is chosen Pope or that that person resigns or not, but rather permits the choices made by men.
Of course it isn’t bad. Benedict prayed for several years about it, and listened to the Holy Spirit direct him on his decision to resign. It takes a very humble soul to consider that you may not be the best person for the job.
Of course Peter could have turned it down. He showed that by denying Christ three times. And yet he made the decision to humble himself, and repent to Christ personally. He also affirmed his love for Christ three times.
if you find someone who actually wants to be the Pope he probably shouldn’t be.
I suspect most of the Pope’s in history didn’t want the papacy but in their humility they submitted to God’s will in their life so they accepted it.