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Diocese of Cleveland responds to Father McWilliams’ guilty plea

News of the Diocese

July 16, 2021

The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland was made aware this afternoon, July 16, of the guilty plea of Father Robert McWilliams, former parochial vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Strongsville.

Diocesan officials said they are grateful to the law enforcement agencies and prosecutors for diligently seeking justice in this matter. Furthermore, with the resolution of the criminal charges against McWilliams, the diocese now is able to pursue the removal of McWilliams from the clerical state. They also requested prayers for healing for all those who have experienced sexual abuse.

The Diocese of Cleveland is committed to creating a safe environment for children and fostering healing for those who have experienced abuse. Anyone with information or simply in need of help can reach the diocesan confidential response line by phone at 216-334-2999 or at

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