Sunday, June 24, 2012


SCANDAL OVER PHOTOS WITH WOMAN - 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. Argentine Catholic bishop was left red-faced after footage emerged of him swimming and cuddling with the blonde at a secluded luxury Mexican hideaway.

He initially denied it was him in the video, but later admitted he does play a starring role. 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. But later he had to admit that the woman was more than just a childhood friend. By all means, he tried to show that he had not been unfaithful to his vows as a priest and two days ago he said, “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. Finally he had to admit to the priests of his diocese his affair with the woman. 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 this international network of Catholic charity organizations.

Catholic Bishop Fernando Maria Bargallo and a blonde woman were spotted swimming together at a Mexican luxury resort. In one picture he is in the water close and face-to-face with the bikini-clad woman. At first the Argentine Bishop denied suggestions about a love affair and said it was only an innocent holidays; however, in the light of the facts, he had to admit to the priests of his Diocese his relationship affair with the woman and presented his resignation to the Pope's envoy in Argentina. When you live in celibacy, do not flirt with women or talk intimately, since lust is the great enemy of spiritual practitioner.

As soon as we accept Lust, our philosophical understanding is internally perverted and we become very confused. We do not understand anything, and in that point our conflicts with the environment begins. Loyalty means determination, if there is no determination one can not be faithful. Controlling the mind means to purify the mind and purify the mind means to control the senses. The wise never want us to act sinfully, but lust never want us to hear the advice of the wise. … Chastity is not a kind of repression, it is just keeping our thoughts clear, clean and honest, otherwise we lose the purity of the intelligence. We must be pure to be fair and we must be fair to not commit offenses. According to the level of purity we want to achieve, it will be the ability to reject the impurity, and that's the way to freedom: to seek the purity, and the more we aspire for the purity, we more reject the impure  proposals. If someone does not have much interest to correct himself or he/she does not let someone else correct him/her, then that person is not very pure, as the interest in pure things makes us pure. Honesty reflects our level of understanding in the spiritual life.

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