Msgr. Henry Zerhusen


Ordained: 1953
Died: 08/09/2003
Diocese: Archdiocese of Baltimore MD

In 2013, a man reported that he had been sexually abused by Henry Zerhusen at St. Ambrose in 1982 or 1983, when he was only 8 or 9 years old. The victim’s grandmother worked at the church and often took him with her to work, and she sent him to talk to the pastor multiple times. Zerhusen would take the victim to his room, pull down his pants, and touch his genitals. Henry Zerhusen tried to justify this by saying he was conducting an exam. The abuse happened five to ten times, and during one of these incidents, Zerhusen told the victim to touch his own penis. The victim was deeply impacted by the abuse and was treated for depression when he was 10 and 11 years old. The trauma stayed with him for 30 years until he decided to report it after his mother found his baptismal certificate from St. Ambrose.

Monsignor Art Valenzano and [redacted] were spoken to by the Archdiocese in addition to the victim. They described Zerhusen as “saintly” and not likely to be an abuser. However, during Zerhusen’s time as a pastor at St. Ambrose, a priest who was actively abusing a girl was living there. Furthermore, both Charles Rouse and Thomas Bauernfeind, who were child abusers described in this report, were assigned to work under Zerhusen while he was a pastor at St. Anthony. The Archdiocese reached a settlement of $32,500 with the victim, and they made a mandatory report to the authorities.

Zerhusen is not listed as credibly accused by the Archdiocese.