John Paul II vs. Benedict XVI: Popes, abdication, and Catholic hypocrisy. - Slate Magazine
Saletan is right - some Catholic writers are doing (not so convincing) rhetorical distortions to explain why it was right for JPII to hang on to the job til death, and also right for Benedict to let it go.
I think that most of the laity in fact thought it wasn't particularly wise of JPII to hold onto it to the end. In contrast, Benedict gets brownie points from most Catholics, I think.