John Schmid's letter (August AD2000) regarding evolution is of concern to me for several reasons.
Firstly, he suggests reading several Church documents, in order to discern the mind of the Church on this issue. The problem with this approach is that because Church documents give doctrine, and not science, he feels free to believe in evolution regardless of its factual basis. Furthermore, Father Rumble is quoted, despite the fact that he would have written long before the bulk of the evidence against evolution was even discovered. (Radio Replies was printed in 1940).
Mr Schmid then claims evolution can be compatible with Catholic teaching, thus promoting "Theistic Evolutionary Theory".
Theistic Evolution, a very common Christian position, is the proposal that God could have, and probably did, use evolution to bring about His Divine purpose in Creation. Mr Schmid is positing, further, that what is believed about evolution does not really matter.
My earlier strong encouragement that people read Darwin on Trial is based on the need to refute evolution on purely scientific grounds. If evolution did not happen, then God did not use it.
I am not saying that God could not have created mankind from apes, but that if it has been shown that humans did not come from apes - as overwhelming and very credible scientific evidence has shown - then they did not.
I further encourage the reading of literature that debunks evolution, because belief in it (being essentially atheistic) has undermined Judeo-Christian belief systems and the value of human life.
It has been shown that the atheistic mind-set of our neo-pagan culture has fundamental roots in the philosophies of how mankind is independent of and, in no way beholden to, any God. Look at contraception, abortion, euthanasia, suicide, pornography, Communism, Nazism, etc. Where the Creator God is shown to be non-existent, His laws become meaningless.
So much doubt and confusion is created in the mind of the modern Catholic child/student, who is told on one hand (in R.E.) that God created everything and on the other (in Science class) that everything evolved randomly.
Those who try to beat a middle path, through a belief in Theistic Evolution, must be just as willing as anyone else to study the evidence for and against evolution. Just as the atheists need to provide convincing evidence for their Godless theory, so do Theists, for their "have it both ways" theory.