An Argentine bishop has tendered his resignation after racy photos showed him cavorting with a woman at a beach in Mexico, media reported on Sunday.

The bishop, Fernando Bargallo, 57, who led the diocese of Merlo-Moreno outside Buenos Aires since May 1997, has been under pressure to give up the post since photos surfaced this month showing him frolicking and embracing the bikini-clad woman. He wore nothing but swim shorts.

In the ensuing scandal, Bargallo initially said the woman was a merely longtime friend, but late last week finally admitted having “amorous ties” with her, according to the Clarin daily.

Church officials were not immediately available to confirm or deny reports of the clergyman's resignation.

Pope Benedict XVI, who reportedly has been briefed about the scandal, will make the ultimate decision about whether to accept Bargallo's resignation, church observers said. - AFP