Catholic church being judged by modern standards is wrong, said an embarrassed Pope Francis when questioned about increasing allegations of sexual abuse involving Catholic priests, Daily Mail reported.

Reports of 3700 children sexually abused by priests in Germany surfaced, but the Pope refused to answer. His spokesperson initially insisted that questions on his trip to the Baltics would be entertained.

The Pope said that modern standards can no longer be applicable to the church since sensitivity towards sexual abuse displayed by the society has changed.

When an uncle or father raped children, such things would be hushed up for it was considered shameful in the olden times, even until the last century, he said. 

Earlier, Georg Gaenswein, one of the Vatican’s archbishops, had expressed that such incidents reflect the many souls wounded by Catholic church’s priests, terming it church’s own 9/11.