When Pope Francis holds a one-on-one meeting, it often attracts attention and Thursday was no different.
In Rome, the Pope's schedule included a private session with Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich.
Why the two met was not disclosed, however, a Chicago church insider noted that Thursday was also the day the Holy See issued a document on ethical issues in the financial markets.
While Cardinal George Pell remains on trial for sex abuse charges in Australia, there is no cardinal heading the Vatican's financial department.
In October, multiple sources told NBC 5 that they "would not be surprised" if Cupich received a major new leadership position in Rome.
The Chicago Sun-Times also reported in October that Cupich may be a possible replacement for Pell as the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy. However, the National Catholic Reporter noted that the cardinal called that report "totally without foundation."
Cupich's visit to the Vatican was scheduled to be brief, as he was expected to return to Chicago in time to ordain eight new priests at Holy Name Cathedral on Saturday.