I don't track Roman Catholic theology or ecclesiastical politics that much, but I found this UPI story interesting (from January 8):
Pope John Paul II's slurred voice and fragile appearance at the Christmas night mass in St. Peter's Basilica revived talk of the papal succession. While Vatican officials insisted that the 84-year-old pontiff, who suffers from Parkinson's disease, was not at death's door, published reports focused on German-born Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger as the current front-runner to succeed him.
As the church's ultra-orthodox guardian of faith and morals, Ratzinger is the conservatives' dream papal candidate -- and progressive Catholics' worst nightmare.
If you're interested, Sam Storms has just posted a book review of a biography on Ratzinger's life.