Pope Benedict XVI accepted Bishop Fernando Maria Bargallo's resignation Tuesday, the Catholic News Agency reported. Bargallo, who has headed the diocese of Merlo-Moreno west of Buenos Aires for 15 years, was allowed to step down because there was a "grave reason" making him unsuitable to hold the office, the Vatican said.
Bargallo, 57, attempted to hang on last week after he was photographed on a Mexican beach with a woman, saying she was only a childhood friend, and that publication of the pictures had led to "misinterpretation." He later admitted a romantic relationship.
The pope named Alcides Jorge Pedro Casaretto, bishop emeritus of San Isidro, to serve as apostolic administrator in Merlo-Moreno.
Bargallo was president of Caritas Argentina until last year, when he was named president of Caritas Latin America.