Benedict XIV's announcement he'll be stepping down this month as pope came as a shock to people in his home country, Germany. The German government quickly expressed its respect for the resigning pontiff's work.
Rainer Maria Woelki is moving back to his native Cologne to serve as archbishop of Germany's largest Catholic diocese. Despite close ties to his conservative predecessor, Woelki surprised Berlin with his modern outlook.
The latest terrorist attack in Paris could well provide more fuel for anti-Islam movements across Europe. So far, though, there does not seem to be an organized European network of anti-Islamists.
Official ceremonies marking the fall of the Berlin Wall have come to a close. More than a million people traveled to the German capital on Sunday to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the event.
For the first time ever, the Vatican is staging an unusual exhibition in the Emirate of Shajah. The show is seen as a sign of openness and cooperation between religions.