The Rev. Dennis Carey was released on $100,000 bond after he appeared Tuesday in New London Superior Court on a charge of possessing child pornography in the first degree. He was ordered to have no contact with minors and not use computers.
"Father Carey stated that he has an addiction to the child pornography and has tried to stop viewing it many times in the past," his arrest affidavit states. "Father Carey stated that he has deleted many of the files because he knows that it is wrong."
Authorities say they found 338 files of suspected child pornography. The images and videos depicted boys and girls who appeared to be younger than 16, the affidavit states.
Police said Carey told them he has never had sexual contact with a child. He said he started viewing child pornography two years ago, authorities said.
His attorney said Carey plans to immediately see a psychiatrist.
The arrest came after police in Los Angeles notified Connecticut authorities about a possible suspect. Connecticut investigators said they searched the St. Paul Parish rectory and seized evidence.
Representatives of AOL Inc. submitted two reports to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children concerning suspected child pornography that had been sent using its email service, according to the affidavit.
Carey, who is 65, resigned as pastor of St. Paul last week.
Bishop Michael R. Cote, of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Norwich, said the diocese was "saddened and deeply hurt" by the allegations.
"We, along with everyone else, will wait to see how the legal process unfolds and to learn the details of the investigation," Cote said. "These allegations are extremely serious and run contrary to everything we believe as a church. To exploit children in that fashion is absolutely reprehensible. We pray the allegations are not true."
The Rev. Joseph Whittel, of Our lady of Perpetual Help Church in Quaker Hill, will serve as interim parish administrator, Cote said.
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