URUGUAYParaguay’s political opposition whipped out the heavy artillery on Tuesday, taking President Fernando Lugo to task for having fathered a child while he still served as a Roman Catholic bishop.

A 57-year-old leftist, Lugo admitted on Monday he is the father of a toddler, confirming his relationship with a woman who is now 26 years old.

Lugo was known as the “bishop of the poor” during the 10 years he labored in a forlorn rural area of landlocked Paraguay. The president campaigned on pledges to ease crushing poverty in the South American nation, but opposition lawmaker Carlos Maria Soler said: “I hope the poverty vows the bishop took do not go the way of his chastity vows, because then we’d really be in trouble.”

But while his political rivals slammed him in Congress, analysts said Lugo’s roughly 70 percent approval ratings are unlikely to sink in response to the revelation. And one of his siblings, Pompeyo Lugo, defended the president’s behavior to Argentine radio station Continental.

“This is the most important love story to happen in Paraguay in this century and the last one,” Pompeyo Lugo said. “Love is more important than the obligation to be celibate, which is a commitment but it also punishes human nature.”