Members of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, demonstrated outside the offices of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.
SNAP's protest comes as Benedict faces calls to resign over his handling of abuse cases while the pope served as a bishop in his native Germany.
That includes accusations of a priest being allowed to continue working with children while he underwent treatment for pedophilia.
"We would like the Pope to be honest. The Pope has said people have sunken into a swamp of dishonesty. It is the Pope who has sunk into a swamp of dishonesty by hiding these things and by hiding what he did in Germany," said Joey Piscitelli from SNAP.
Benedict's defenders claim he never took part in any cover-ups. They also insist that he pushed for investigations and reform while serving as a top Vatican official in the 1990s.