Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York says the Roman Catholic Church has been “caricatured as being anti-gay.”

Dolan made his comments during a Meet the Press interview that NBC will broadcast on Sunday.

Host David Gregory touched on the issue of gay marriage, noting that Illinois just became the 16th state to legalize the institution.

“Regardless of the church teachings, do you think this is evolving in such a way that it's ultimately going to be legal everywhere?” Gregory asked.

Or, he added, will there be “a backlash?”

“I think I'd be a Pollyanna to say that there doesn't seem to be kind of a stampede to do this,” Dolan answered. “I regret that.”

When asked why the church is losing on the issue, Dolan said: “Well, I think maybe we've been outmarketed sometimes. We've been caricatured as being anti-gay.”

Dolan insisted that the church was not “anti-anybody” and would not abandon its opposition.

“When you have forces like Hollywood, when you have forces like politicians, when you have forces like some opinion-molders that are behind it, it's a tough battle,” he said.

Dolan protested loudly in 2011 against passage of a marriage bill in New York, calling same-sex marriage “Orwellian social engineering” and an “ominous threat” to society.

(Related: Timothy Dolan says Catholic bishops were “deceived” on New York gay marriage.)