Or, he asked, will there be "a backlash" against gay marriage?
"I think I'd be a Pollyanna to say that there doesn't seem to be kind of a stampede to do this," Dolan said. "I regret that."
Asked why the church is losing the argument on gay marriage, Dolan responded, "Well, I think maybe we've been outmarketed sometimes. We've been caricatured as being anti-gay."
He said the church supports "traditional marriage and is not "anti-anybody," adding, "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."
But, he said the church will not give up on the gay marriage issue.
On another divisive issue, Dolan said the Catholic Church has long championed comprehensive health care, but he said U.S. Catholic bishops cannot support the Affordable Care Act as long as it includes coverage for abortion.
He said the bishops started "bristling" at the legislation pushed by President Barack Obama because "it's excluding the undocumented immigrant and it's excluding the unborn baby."