"Benedict directly challenged an assumption so many Americans make about religion: that it is a matter of private devotion with few public implications. Not true, said the pope. 'Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted,' he told the country’s Catholic bishops Wednesday. 'Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.' That is a demanding and unsettling standard for the right and the left alike... This is the thinking of a communitarian counseling against radical individualism... Perhaps it is the task of the leader of the Roman Catholic Church to bring discomfort to a people so thoroughly shaped by modernity, as we Americans are. If so, Benedict is succeeding."