Gay Mass planned |

Gay Mass planned

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

A prominent Park City clergyman plans to hold a Mass for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people during the Sundance Film Festival.

Father Robert Bussen, the leader of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, says Park City is ready for such a service and he intends to hold the Mass monthly after the first celebration.

"It’s time. In the Catholic Church, we seem to have a huge chasm between the church offices, so to speak, and the gay sons and daughters," Bussen says.

The first Mass is scheduled on Jan. 20 at 6 p.m. in the church’s Old Town chapel, 121 Park Ave. Parking is available in a lot behind the chapel.

Bussen says he is unsure how many St. Mary’s parishioners are gays or lesbians but he says the sexual preferences of people in the Roman Catholic Church generally resemble those in the rest of the population. He says, though, the Catholic Church has not welcomed them.

Heterosexual people are invited to the Mass and Bussen says the celebration will be the same as a regular Mass.

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Bussen says it is difficult to predict how many people will attend.

People who visit during film-festival week are well known for supporting gay rights and there is usually a bloc of movies with gay themes. The Queer Lounge, a hotspot for gays and lesbians, has drawn big crowds during the festival as well.

For more information about the Mass, call Bussen at 640-3034.