The True Story
The Catholic Church and science, contrary to popular belief, are not mortal enemies of one another. It's not all that uncommon for someone to cite the "Galileo Controversy" with Pope Urban VIII's "harsh" response to Galileo's publication (which had many political elements). Sadly, society stereotypes a worldwide institution as "anti-science" over an event that happened almost 500 years ago.
In fact, the Catholic Church is responsible for the development and creation of the Western World's education system. Originally designed to educate religious, universities and colleges were established throughout Europe. As time progressed, these institutes began to expand their fields of study from philosophy and theology to science and medicine.
Catholics in the Sciences
Here are just a few Catholic priests and religious who made major contributions to science and medicine.
Abbot Gregor Mendel
Founder of modern genetics and major contributor to the life sciences
Fr. Georges Lemaître
Proposed the theory for the expansion of the universe, known today as the "Big Bang"
Roger Bacon OFM
Advanced the knowledge of optics and gunpowder using empirical methods