Not with a bang, but with a whimper. A series of whimpers. The ending comes with an almost daily new unraveling. Using the broad and unflattering daylight to unravel lace.
Of course he know. Anyone who knows how the bureaucracy of the church works knows that he knew.
What is most fascinating is the evidence of mutiny high in the ranks. In the old days, these pieces of incriminating information remained hidden or were tossed onto the flames of a rectory fireplace. Ranks were closed, in the old days. It becomes obvious that the hierarchy has begun to see the German Shepherd as inconvenient. As a liability. They won't murder him, but they won't cover for him. If this keeps up, he'll never live out his natural life as Pope. He will retire. For reasons of health, of course.
The problem is that a noble successor is not yet ready to assume the chair of Peter. I have a few men (and one woman) I believe would make great popes, but they are not quite ready yet. It would be better for Benedict to stay in place for another five years while some of the dead wood around him rots into mulch that will nourish the seedlings.