The fact of the matter is that Roman Catholic Christianity (also Orthodox Christianity, and some forms of Protestantism) cannot be reconciled with the expressive individualism that is the hallmark of late modern civilization.The one common element of most of the writing about Pope Benedict since he announced his abdication has been that the writer has projected their thoughts on to the situation. That is also true of Rod Dreher above. I doubt Benedict XVI worried about this more than ten minutes in his entire life but Dreher thinks about it a whole lot.
He is not alone in this I'm sure. But is he right?
Of course not. He's trying to hedge his bets a bit by saying "expressive individualism" instead of simply saying individualism. This is hardly an individualist age after all. But "expressive individualism" hardly saves him either. You are, after all, only allowed to express your "individualism" in approved ways, which is another way of saying it isn't individualism.