Or a better way of putting it might be “shouldn’t a Catholic always have a preference for marrying a fellow Catholic?”.
I think so. There is such a thing as disparity of cult, and dispensations are required for a reason. Traditionally, Catholics were strongly urged to marry Catholics, and I believe I read somewhere one time, that having fewer than 2500 potential Catholic partners in one’s locality was a kind of “threshold” for determining whether a dispensation might be granted — it’s not Jone’s Moral Theology, but that sounds like the kind of thing he would have come up with. The rationale there would be “you have more than enough Catholics to choose from, no, you may not marry this non-Catholic”. Needless to say, that kind of thinking would not fly in contemporary society.
If I were choosing a mate, whether she were Catholic or not, would be the absolute number-one consideration — everything else would be trivial by comparison. If I were to marry a non-Catholic (and this is highly premature talk, I have no annulment), I have to think that she would very much have to “strike a chord” with me, that I would see something so unique in her, that I could justify marrying someone with whom I don’t share a common faith. (In all fairness, I have met women a few times in my courting days who fulfilled this criterion, but in the end I married a Catholic.) Not being a fairly serious Christian would be a deal-killer right up front.
Thoughts and experiences to share?