This would be done if the place this cardinal was going to work in was a dangerous environment for a Catholic. Such as China, where Catholics (and Christians in general) are not formally tolerated, and the presence of a Cardinal would at least lead to him getting imprisoned (and probably shot). It does say this in the article.
Some of the catholics in the area would know that a secret cardinal had been appointed, although obviously secrecy would be vital, and they would very probably not know his identity.
The cardinal would also then be able to communicate back to the Vatican on the situation for Catholics in that country, and allow the church to work with an increased knowledge on improving tolerance of Catholicism - and Christianity in general - in that country.
Proto 10:21, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
As it is not quite clear:
Would *some* in pectore Cardinals know that they have been appointed?
Have there been any cases of problems arising because it is known to the authorities that there is an in pectore cardinal but not who he is?
For those who are into such things, and with a suitable background knowledge, this could provide a useful starting point for some speculative fiction.
Jackiespeel 14:16, 9 September 2005 (UTC)
One other unpublished 20th-century cardinal
Currently, the article says that the only 20th-century case of expired "in pectore" appointment was that of the 3 cardinals named as such in 1960. The FIU cardinals site says that there were 2 cardinals named "in pectore" in 1916 and only one (Adolf Bertram) was eventually published. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 19:50, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
Indeed the article does not make clear if an in pectore cardinal himself is notified, however secretly, that he has been made a cardinal. It is obvious that such appointments are made "in the eyes of God", therefore secular notification is unnecessary per se; still I would imagine that even He would not choose to ignore common courtesies. :-) — Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 15:26, 18 February 2012 (UTC)
Pope Martin V
I don't know much about the history of this stuff, but on the article Papal conclave, 1431 it says that Pope Martin V initiated the custom of creating cardinals without published their name right away, and links here. But in this article it says Pope Paul III was the first to initiate this custom. Someone who knows more about this stuff should probably fix this. Wgunther (talk) 02:05, 14 March 2013 (UTC)
The article doesn't make it clear how the process of creating "in pectore" cardinals occurs. Does the Pope, at a consistory, declare "I wish to create x amount of cardinals" (or some other phrase) without disclosing the name(s) of the cardinal(s) created, revealing them at a later date? 101090ABC (talk) 13:08, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Term used at 2015's Wikimania
[Jimbo] Wales' announcement [at Wikimanía 2015] of Wikipedian of the year was made in pectore, meaning that he did not reveal the name at this time because doing so has the potential to bring reprisal or harm to the recipient.