Some parishioners at a Montreal Catholic church were shocked to learn Sunday that a deacon is being charged with producing and distributing child pornography.

William Kokesch, 65, was arrested Friday morning and charged on Saturday via video link at the Montreal courthouse.

Police said they found more than 2,000 images of children on a computer. His bail hearing will be held Monday at the Montreal courthouse.

Kokesch, who lives in Pointe-Claire, was a deacon for the St-Edmund of Canterbury parish in Beaconsfield on Montreal's West Island.

Carmella Guerriero told CBC News she was mortified by the news.

"I'm here this morning without my kids," Guerriero said on her way into the church.

"I just want to see if they have anything to say about what's happened. It's horrible," she said, adding that she is no longer comfortable having her children attend the church.

Guerriero called Kokesch a key member of the parish.

"He's here every weekend. He's involved with the kids, he's involved with the parents. He's a big part of the church," she said.

The Archdiocese of Montreal released a statement on Saturday saying the deacon had been immediately removed from all ministry and pastoral activity. The archdiocese said that it will continue to be attentive to the needs of its parishioners and would co-operate with authorities.

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William Kokesch was the deacon at the St-Edmund of Canterbury parish in Beaconsfield, on Montreal's West Island. (CBC)

Kokesch was a communications director for the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. He helped co-ordinate World Youth Day conferences in Toronto, Rome and Paris, according to the organization's website.

Montreal police Const. Dany Richer urged anyone with more information on the case to contact their local police station.

None of the charges against Kokesch have been proven in court. Kokesch has not yet entered a plea.

With files from The Canadian Press