This year marks the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first use of a telescope to observe the heavens. This was even noted by Pope Benedict XVI in his Feast of the Magi homily.
It seems that the Church has finally come to terms with the Galileo affair as it even sponsors the scientific anniversary.
Also this year is Charles Darwin year marking the 150th anniversary of the publication of the Origin of Species. The Catholic Church is also commemorating it be sponsoring a symposium hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Science.