Pope Francis briefly met Wednesday with Christine Lagarde, managing director of the Internaional Monetary Fund, an organization which intends to foster international trade and sustainable economic growth.

The Holy See press office announced the Dec. 10 meeting without discussing the contents of the leaders' conversation.

According to sources from the International Monetary Fund, Lagarde praised Pope Francis' calls against the growing inequality between rich and poor.

It is probable that Lagarde also told Pope Francis of some criticisms she has expressed of the two speeches the Pope delivered Nov. 25 at the European Parliament and at the Council of Europe.

In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Dec. 2, Lagarde said she wanted to press the Pope to explain what "he exactly meant" by describing Europe as "a grandmother, no longer fertile and vibrant," in a speech to the European Parliament.

She also added that she thinks that Pope Francis "wanted to give a little kick and say…'I'm challenging you, you cannot be that haggard grandmother, there's something in that belly of the Europeans that can be stirred to a good fire.'"

On his part, Pope Francis may have expressed his criticisms of the world economic system, which he already described as unjust in several speeches and in his apostolic exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium."

For example, Pope Francis had expressed his concern in a speech given June 16 to the participants of the conference "Investing in the Poor: how impact investing can serve the Common Good in Light of the Evangelii Gaudium."

"It is important that ethics once again play its due part in the world of finance" and that markets "serve the interests of people and the common good of humanity," the Pope said at the June conference.