Pope accepts resignation of Argentine bishop seen with woman in pool
By Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of an Argentine bishop seen apparently being amorous with an unidentified female in a Mexican swimming pool.
The pope accepted the resignation June 26 of Bishop Fernando Bargallo of Merlo-Moreno, Argentina, and appointed retired Bishop Alcides Casaretto of San Isidro as apostolic administrator of the diocese.
Argentine news channel A24 showed photos June 19 of Bishop Bargallo and an unidentified woman during a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, two years ago. Media outlets throughout Latin American published the photos widely.
Bishop Bargallo, who is also president of Caritas Latin America, appeared on the channel to read a statement in which he denied having any inappropriate relationship and described the woman as a “childhood friend.”
He also acknowledged, “It has caused a bad impression.”
“I ask forgiveness if this has caused some sort of damage,” he said. “I’m totally committed to God, the church and serving the diocese.”
The source of the photos has not been explained, although the A24 website mentioned the bishop has had tense relations with officials in the Argentine government over social policy.
Why Bishop Bargallo was in Mexico or how he paid for a stay at a luxury resort also was not been explained.
Contributing to this story was David Agren in Mexico.
Copyright (c) 2012 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
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