He may not have been thinking about it at the time, but Pope Benedict, in the course of his recent U.S. visit may have dealt a knockout blow to the liberal American Catholicism that has challenged Rome since the early 1960s. He did so by speaking frankly and forcefully of his "deep shame" during his meeting with victims of the Church's sex-abuse scandal. By demonstrating that he "gets" this most visceral of issues, the pontiff may have successfully mollified a good many alienated believers — and in the process, neutralized the last great rallying point for what was once a feisty and optimistic style of progressivism.
If Pope Benedict wasn't thinking about it, which I doubt, Someone else was.
This is another way of saying that Voice of the Faithful just lost their reason to rant. They were all too old for that kind of anger anyway, it set off their blood presure, bless their hearts.