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Argentine Bishop Bargallo quits over 'amorous ties' row

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Argentine Bishop Bargallo quits over 'amorous ties' row

Monsignor Bargallo had been leading the diocese of Merlo-Moreno since 1997

26 June 2012 Last updated at 20:03 ET

The Pope has accepted the resignation of an Argentine bishop after the publication of pictures showing him embracing a woman on a Mexican beach.

Bishop Fernando Bargallo, 57, was photographed in the sea, hugging a woman in a bikini.

He initially said she was a childhood friend, but later admitted to having had "amorous ties" with her.

Bishop Bargallo was in charge of the diocese of Merlo-Moreno, in the province of Buenos Aires.

The scandal broke last week, when an Argentine television station broadcast pictures of Monsignor Bargallo on holiday at a beach resort in Mexico in the company of a woman.

'Childhood friend'

In one of the pictures, he is seen half-submerged in the water, embracing a woman in a bikini.

Shortly after the pictures were published, Monsignor Bargallo gave a public statement saying that the woman was a childhood friend, whom he had known all of his life.

He said the situation in which he had been photographed was "imprudent, as it could lead people to jump to the wrong conclusion".

He asked his flock to forgive him for "the ambiguity of the pictures" and urged them to view the photos "in the context of a long friendship".

But later that same week, Monsignor Bargallo convened the priests of his diocese and told them he had had "amorous ties" with the woman and would resign.

The Vatican said he would be replaced by Monsignor Alcides Jorge Pedro Casaretto.


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BBC © 2012


Paraguay president Fernando Lugo recognises another son

Fernando Lugo is constitutionally barred from running for a second term

Narcisa Delacruz said she has kept quiet for years to avoid a scandal

5 June 2012 Last updated at 15:05 ET

Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo has said he will recognise that he fathered a 10-year-old child born when he was still a Roman Catholic bishop.

The mother, Narcisa Delacruz, is a nurse who said she met Mr Lugo after separating from her husband.

She is the fourth woman to come forward with similar allegations since Mr Lugo, 61, renounced the priesthood and was elected in 2008.

This is the second child he has acknowledged.

Narcisa Delacruz, 42, said Mr Lugo informally recognised paternity of her younger son, Angel, soon after his birth in the northern town of Santani.

"I approached him when the baby was 10 months old and showed him the baby. He said it was a beautiful child and from that day he began helping financially to support the baby."

She said she avoided filing for formal recognition before to avoid a scandal that could damage the Paraguayan president's political prospects.

But she changed her mind after her son demanded to have his father's surname.

Narcisa Delacruz had four children when she met Mr Lugo and was divorcing her husband.

Mr Lugo's lawyer, Marcos Farina, says the president has acknowledged the paternity "without any problems" and asked him to file the paperwork to have the child's name changed.

DNA tests

Mr Lugo served as a Roman Catholic bishop of the diocese of San Pedro, one of Paraguay's poorest areas, until stepping down in December 2006, saying he felt powerless to help the country's poor.

He took office as president two years later, ending 61 years of conservative rule in Paraguay.

But in 2009, the country was shocked when he acknowledged he was the father of a three-year-old child, Guillermo Armindo.

Two other women - Benigna Leguizamon and Hortenzia Moran - have since filed paternity suits against the former cleric.

DNA tests have shown that he had not fathered a child with Hortenzia Moran.

Ms Moran said her son, Juan Pablo, was conceived while she was working for one of the left-wing parties that supported Mr Lugo's candidacy for president in 2008.

Ms Leguizamon, who has three other children, said she had relations with Mr Lugo when she worked as a cleaner in San Pedro region, where he was a bishop.

BBC © 2012

Greensburg, KS - 5/4/07

"Eternal vigilance is the price of Liberty."
from John Philpot Curran, Speech
upon the Right of Election, 1790

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