Vigano made the remarks at the start of a national bishops meeting in Baltimore. It's the first such assembly since Pope Francis was elected and asked bishops to focus more on mercy than hot-button political issues. Many Catholics are watching for any change in the bishops' tone.
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan is ending his term as president of the bishops' conference. He urged church leaders to make religious freedom abroad their defining issue. He said religious freedom challenges in the U.S. pale in comparison to what Christians face overseas.