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Catholic Church is all for Science and Technology

When we think of the Church and science, we can never forget a man like Austrian Augustinian monk Gregor Mendel known as the “Father of modern genetics” or back home our own Jesuit Fathers Hermenegild Santapau and K. M. Mathew known for their dedicated research in the field of botany.

Catholic Church is all for Science and Technology

By Bishop Victor Lyngdoh of Jowai
In recent months Jesuit Father Richard D’Souza from Goa was very much in news for the wonderful discovery regarding the celestial cannibalism that gave rise to a new galaxy in our universe. He is among some 300 outstanding Catholic priest-scientists who havemade marvellous contributions to the world of science.

So, Catholic Church and Spread of Science is a timely topic to debate. When we think of Catholic Church and the spread of science, the first that comes to my mind is the Polish Catholic scientist Nicholas Copernicus who started his research for a liturgical calendar and ended up with the explosion of a scientific truth - Revolution and Evolution of the Earth which drastically affected humankind’s sense of time.

Besides, science developed and spread under the patronage of various Popes at different times in history though it is a sad fact that the Church also imprisoned a scientist like Galileo. But when Pope John Paul II apologized for it later, it became an apology for all those failures from the Church that went against science and scientists.

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the Vatican Observatory are important steps from the part of the Church to spread science and to motivate people for scientific research. Under the auspices of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Vatican conducts the world conference of science which is indeed a confluence of towering scientists from all over the world.

During the 2016 conference, eminent scientist Stephen Hawking met Pope Francis for a brief exchange. But the real spread of science from the part of the Catholic Church came because of its massive and marvellous efforts in spreading elementary and higher education all over the world. If we take the leading scientists of the world, most of them will have some connection to a Catholic educational institution, like Jagdish Chandra Bose from St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta, or APJ Abdul Kalam from St. Joseph’s College, Trichy.

When we think of the Church and science, we can never forget a man like Austrian Augustinian monk Gregor Mendel known as the “Father of modern genetics” or back home our own Jesuit Fathers Hermenegild Santapau and K. M. Mathew known for their dedicated research in the field of botany.

In fact, the Catholic Church has been a trailblazer in spreading science all over the world and numerous of our missionaries have played a crucial role in spreading science because they were truly inspired by the Scientist of all scientists our Lord Jesus who was the Word, the forerunner of all sciences.

And the attitude of the Catholic Church towards science and scientific research is very much evident in Vatican Second’s Gaudium et Spes on science which we will find in the following quote of the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge, provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, can never conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derive from the same God. The humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are.”

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