Does the Catholic Church frown on two adults of the opposite sex marrying after childbearing age? Are sexual relations taboo if they can’t procreate?
Code of Canon Law:
Can. 1084 §3. Sterility neither prohibits nor nullifies marriage
Catechism of the Catholic Church:
362 “The acts in marriage by which the intimate and chaste union of the spouses takes place are noble and honorable; the truly human performance of these acts fosters the self-giving they signify and enriches the spouses in joy and gratitude.” Sexuality is a source of joy and pleasure:
The Creator himself . . . established that in the [generative] function, spouses should experience pleasure and enjoyment of body and spirit. Therefore, the spouses do nothing evil in seeking this pleasure and enjoyment. They accept what the Creator has intended for them. At the same time, spouses should know how to keep themselves within the limits of just moderation.
2363 The spouses’ union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life. These two meanings or values of marriage cannot be separated without altering the couple’s spiritual life and compromising the goods of marriage and the future of the family.
Sexuality is ordered towards procreation and the good of the spouses. When a man and woman engage in the marital act and one of them is infertile (for any natural reason) they are acting in a manner that is objectively open to and ordered towards procreation even if it is not possible in the specific instance. It is little different than if the couple were to engage in sexual relations when the wife was not ovulating.
The only moral problem is if one of the married spouses was to *deliberately *remove the procreative aspect of the sexual act, then the act is purposely deprived of its natural end of procreation. To use a rather over simplified analogy, its the difference between a DNR order for an elderly patient and holding a pillow over an elderly patient’s face. One is a choice to let “life take its course” and the other is a choice to act against life.