Bishop Fernando Bargallo of Merlo-Moreno, Argentina has asked forgiveness for recently-surfaced photos of him shown with a woman on a beach in Mexico.
“I regret that that situation, which was imprudent on my part, could lead to misinterpretations. I sincerely ask for forgiveness if this incident has caused or could cause any harm,” Bishop Bargallo said in a statement issued on June 19.
The bishop explained that the published photos were taken two years ago during a meeting “with a childhood friend – whom I have known practically since the time I can remember – in Mexico.”
He added that the two were in Mexico at the same time but for different reasons and were surrounfded by multiple acquaintances who were not shown in the photos.
“I have been a close friend of her family my entire life,” he said.
Bishop Bargallo said he wished “to clearly state that I am totally committed to God and to the Church in the mission that has been entrusted to me in this beloved diocese of Merlo-Moreno and in my other responsibilities in service to others.”
“I have very deep feelings for the priesthood and my dedication to the Lord Jesus and I wish to persevere in them until the end,” he noted.
The 57-year-old bishop was president of Caritas Argentina until last year and is currently president of Caritas Latin America. He has served as bishop of Merlo-Moreno since May of 1997.