I read an interesting article from The Huffington Post regarding the history of science and religion.
From the article:
"The Catholic Church has come a long way from its inauspicious treatment of Galileo Galilei in the 17th century. It now recognizes a theistic form of both cosmic and biological evolution. But the church remains steadfastly opposed to contraception, abortion and research using human embryonic stem cells."
On February 28th, Pope Benedict XVI resigned, making this the first time a Pope has resigned in almost six hundred years. The New Pope, once elected, could possibly have great influence not only over a billion Catholics, but also how the Vatican views science and progress. Science and the church have a checkered past at best.
"In the early 1600s, a certain Italian astronomer came into conflict with the Catholic Church over his support of the Copernican view that the Earth revolves around the sun. Galileo, himself a Catholic, was tried for heresy in 1633 by the Roman Inquisition, which forced him to recant his views and live out his days under house arrest. It wasn't until 2000 that former pope John Paul II issued a formal apology for the church's treatment of Galileo."
To say that the Vatican can be stubborn on some topics, just look at this quote from Pope Benedict XVI from 2009 on a trip to Africa:
"You can't resolve it with the distribution of condoms," the pope said of the AIDS crisis. "On the contrary, it increases the problem."
The Vatican has done well on other topics such as evolution and the Big Bang theory stating that there is room for both religion and science in God's plan.
I think that it's predictable that the church would accept evolution and a singularity (the Big Bang) as there has been a lot of research done on these and they have not be disproven.