A western Missouri priest is charged with three counts of possessing child pornography after authorities reported finding images on computers he used.

Forty-five-year-old Shawn Francis Ratigan was charged Thursday in Clay County. He was arrested Wednesday at a private home for priests in Independence and held on $200,000 bail.

Court records do not list a defense attorney, and there’s no phone listing for Shawn Ratigan.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph says in a statement it contacted law enforcement professionals after the images were discovered. It says Ratigan has had no parish assignments since January.

According to court documents, a technician found some images in December on Ratigan’s private laptop and gave it to church officials. Police say more images were found this week on a computer Ratigan used at a St. Joseph church.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.