Paraguay's President Fernando Lugo has admitted he is the father of a child who was conceived when he was still a Roman Catholic bishop.

Mr Lugo, who took office last August, made a televised address accepting paternity of the one-year-old boy.

He admitted having an intimate relationship with 26-year-old Viviana Carrillo, the child's mother.

Mr Lugo had received permission from the Pope to leave the priesthood and run for political office.

"I assume all responsibilities having to do with the fact that I had a relationship with (the mother of the child), and I recognize paternity," said Mr Lugo.

He said he would not comment further on the matter, adding that he wanted to protect the privacy of the boy.

The leftist leader, 57, resigned as bishop of the San Pedro province in 2004, and announced he would run for the presidency two years later.

He was registered as a bishop until last year when Pope Benedict XVI relieved him from his vows of chastity.