As disclosures of carefully concealed clergy sex crimes surface by the hundreds across Europe, even in Pope Benedict's native Germany, defenders of the pontiff are working overtime.
"As pope, he has been unusually and laudably aggressive in dealing with abusers," says David Gibson, author of a Benedict biography.
"[On abuse] Pope Benedict XVI has made it clear that no one, however well-connected, gets a free pass," writes John Allen of National Catholic Reporter.
Well, let's look clearly at Benedict's track record, as pope, on clergy sex crimes and cover ups. He has done three things.
Once, after substantially watering down an already vague and weak proposal, he belatedly and begrudgingly approved the U.S. bishops' 2002 child sex abuse policy.
Twice, in carefully choreographed circumstances, he sat in the same room with and talked with a few hand-picked victims.
And twice, he "disciplined" credibly accused child molesting clerics (one of whom, after multiple allegations and years of delay, was "invited" to live a life of prayer while the Vatican made only the most oblique reference to his actual crimes).