VATICAN CITY, June 14 (UPI) -- Pope Francis said Friday he is thankful that the Church of England responded positively to the Vatican's policies that help Anglicans join the Catholic Church.
Francis expressed his gratitude while meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who leads the Church of England.
A new section of the Catholic Church, Anglicanorum Coetibus, was created in 2009. The section allows Anglicans to become Catholic while retaining some of their traditions and policies.
The policy was created as an easier, large-scale way to convert after many Anglicans became unhappy with their church's progressive developments.
The Anglican section now has 77 million members and is the third largest Christian communion, ANSA reported.
"I am sure that this will enable the Catholic world to improve its knowledge of the spiritual, liturgical and pastoral traditions that make up the Anglican heritage," Pope Francis said while meeting with Welby in the Vatican.