BUENOS AIRES – The bishop of the Argentine diocese of Merlo Moreno resigned his post following a scandal over photos showing him with a woman on a Mexican beach, the local press said Saturday.
Fernando Maria Bargallo presented his resignation to the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican’s diplomatic mission in the Argentine capital, according to the Buenos Aires daily Clarin.
Sources at the Nunciature consulted Saturday by Efe would neither confirm nor deny Bargallo’s resignation and redirected all questions to the Merlo Moreno Diocesse, where no one was available to answer calls.
On Wednesday, Bargallo admitted in a communique that he was the one seen in the photos published the day before in the local press, but said that the woman with him was just “a childhood friend.”
He also apologized for the possibility that the scandal might lead to “bad interpretations” and said he was “totally committed to God and the church.”
The photos show the clergyman, 57, with a woman on a beach in Mexico in early 2011. In some shots they are seen in the water holding each other.
Bargallo had been the bishop of Merlo Moreno, a populous diocese on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, since May 1997, and until last year was president of Caritas Argentina and currently has the same responsibility in Caritas Latin America, both divisions of Caritas, the international network of Catholic charity organizations.