New York Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan warned that "well-financed, well-oiled sectors" of society are attempting "to push religion back into the sacristy," The New York Times reported Tuesday.
"We see in our culture a drive to neuter religion," Dolan told a news conference in Baltimore.
He came prepared Monday to answer questions about the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State University that has reminded so many of the Catholic Church's own abuse scandal.
Dolan said the accusations against a former assistant football coach were a reminder sexual abuse is a universal problem that affects many institutions.
The bishop's conference in Baltimore established a committee on religious liberty and selected Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport, Conn., to head it.
Lori told the conference Catholic agencies in the District of Columbia and states like Illinois and Massachusetts have been forced to stop offering adoption and foster care services because of requirements they allow same-sex couples to adopt.