The following comes from an August 4 Thousand Oaks Acorn article by Stephanie Bertholdo:
Monsignor Paul Albee was welcomed as the new pastor of St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church in Westlake on July 1.
Albee, the pastor at Holy Cross for 11 years, joined St. Max after the Rev. Jarlath Dolan retired.
Albee has worked in numerous California parishes since he became a priest over 32 years ago.
He talked briefly about Pope Francis, who by many accounts has captured the hearts of Catholics and the faithful from other denominations around the world for his generosity of spirit.
“I think that people are very excited about the Holy Father’s ministry in the Catholic Church,” he said. “It seems to be a different approach than others, but (actually) it’s all based in Catholic traditions for centuries.”
The tenets promoted by the pope, he said, are based on “treating people with honor and dignity.”
“That’s always been part of Catholic theology and tradition,” Albee said. “I think it’s exciting and refreshing to hear it being reiterated in the Catholic Church.”
He said his philosophy jibes with the pope’s in that he would never deny Holy Communion to anyone, including members of the gay community.
“To quote Pope Francis, ‘Who are we to judge?’” Albee said.
For now, he is focused on getting to know the St. Max community. He is particularly pleased with the congregational outreach done at the church, including participation in Habitat for Humanity.
Ordinarily, priests are moved from parish to parish every six years. But Albee, who is just shy of 60, said he expects to be the pastor at St. Max for far longer.
“Given my age, this is the last stop of the journey,” he said.