(CNN) — Pope Benedict XVI urged a crowd of 120,000 worshippers in one of Europe’s most secular countries to remain faithful to religious tradition Sunday.
“History has demonstrated the absurdities to which man descends when he excludes God from the horizon of his choices and actions,” the pope said in an open-air Mass in the Czech Republic.
“Technical developments and the improvement of social structures are important and certainly necessary, but they are not enough to guarantee the moral welfare of society,” he said, according to the Vatican.
He preached Mass in Brno, the Czech Republic’s second-largest city and the center of Moravia, the more religious eastern part of the country.
Worshippers came from neighboring Slovakia, Poland and Austria — all traditionally Catholic countries — to hear the pope, who spoke briefly in the native languages of each country before concluding in Czech. About 11,000 of the 120,000 who attended the Mass were from abroad, Martina Jandlova, the press spokeswoman of the Diocese of Brno, told CNN.