The motu proprio “Traditionis Custodes” was issued by Pope Francis on 16th July 2021, along with an accompanying letter.
This move has been rumoured for months now but everyone seems to have been taken by surprise at the ferocity of the language in the motu proprio (Latin for “on his own impulse”). And what about that title! Is it supposed to be some kind of deeply ironic joke?
[A motto proprio is a document issued by the pope on his own initiative and personally signed by him. Such a document may be addressed to the whole Church, to part of it, or to some individuals. A document issued motu proprio has its legal effect even if the reasons given for its issuance are found to be false or fraudulent, a fact which would normally render the document invalid. Its validity is based on its issuance by the pope by his own initiative, not upon the reasons alleged.]