Bishop Salvatore Cordileone has blamed voters' lack of understanding for four gay marriage wins on Election Day.

Cordileone, an outspoken opponent of gay nuptials who in 2008 backed passage of Proposition 8, California's ban, was recently installed as the leader of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

At the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) semi-annual General Assembly being held in Baltimore, the Roman Catholic bishops showed no sign of easing their opposition to marriage equality after supporters won ballot measures in four states last week. In three states, Maine, Washington state and Maryland, voters legalized the institution, while Minnesotans rejected an effort to ban it.

When asked by reporters whether the election results would have any bearing on the tone of the church's message, Cordileone defended the church's position.

“Last Tuesday was a disappointing day for marriage,” Cordileone said. “But rather than being a cause for giving up, it is a call to intensify efforts to strengthen and defend marriage. The fact of the matter is that the effort to preserve the unique meaning of marriage in the law as the union of one man and one woman lost by only a narrow margin ...”

“This election is a symptom of a much larger problem. Which is that many people simply do not understand what marriage is.”

“Marriage is not a matter of two consenting adults simply coming together for the state to ratify their romantic relationship. Rather marriage is the only institution that unites a man and a woman to each other and to any children born of their union. … It is either this or it is nothing at all.”

(Related: Bishop J. Peter Sartain: Gay marriage not in the best interest of children, society.)