What we have tried to give in this book, then, is the authoritative refutation of the supposed prohibition of the cultivation of certain departments of medical and allied sciences by the Popes, and sufficient information to enable students and teachers of science to realize that the ordinarily accepted notions with regard to opposition to science in the Middle Ages are founded on nothing more substantial than sublime ignorance of the facts of the history of science at that time. There was no bull against anatomy or dissection; no bull against chemistry; the Popes were the patrons of the great medical scientists and surgeons; the Papal Medical School was one of the best in the world and was sedulously fostered; the great scientists of the Middle Ages were clergymen, and many of them when they died were declared saints by the Church. The opposite impression is entirely a deduction from false premises with regard to the supposed attitude of the Church and churchmen.

James J. Walsh, The Popes and Science (1908)


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