However, there are plenty of 2023 predictions to be made. They include the potential for nuclear war between the United States and Russia, a revolution, and cannibalism. Here is a list of some of the most popular predictions for the year ahead.
Nuclear war between the United States and Russia
Despite a break in dialogue on arms control, the US and Russia appear to be moving closer towards nuclear war. Their most recent round of talks took place after Russia attacked Ukraine, during which time the United States deployed RS-135s Cobra Ball spy planes near Russia’s border which monitor ballistic missile activities.
The INF Treaty prohibits nuclear weapons on land and sea, while the New START Treaty, due to expire in 2026, limits each country’s strategic nuclear arsenal to 1,550 warheads on 700 delivery vehicles.
Many have been wondering if Russia will go nuclear. Emeritus Professor of War Studies at King’s College London Lawrence Freedman said Washington would know if Moscow were planning on using nuclear weapons, but there was no proof that Moscow had already implemented such a plan.
The United States has taken measures to discourage the use of nuclear weapons in Ukraine. It has released public service announcements warning about their risks, and announced that it would purchase $300 million worth of anti-radiation drugs.
Although the US has yet to announce a specific response, President Joe Biden has called for formal arms control negotiations between both countries. Bonnie Jenkins, undersecretary of state for arms control, wants to cap how many new Russian nuclear weapon systems can be fielded after 2026.
Pope Francis will be the last true pope
Over the past few months, speculation has grown that Pope Francis may resign; however, this has yet to be officially confirmed. He has been making major trips abroad this year which has made it difficult to confirm news stories.
The Holy See is a sovereign entity under international law, recognized by international organizations and with diplomatic relations with many independent states. Its cultural influence over 1.3 billion Catholics worldwide is immense; however, other churches contest its authority.
Pope Benedict XVI retired from his pontificate in 2013 after six years in office. Following this resignation, the next conclave will elect a successor for Francis; some cardinals may even vote during this process to elect the new pope.
There are various reasons a pope could resign, such as health or mobility issues. But there are compelling theological arguments for them to remain in office until their passing. Furthermore, with so many rival power centers growing rapidly, those whose tenures are ending may wish to stay on in order to prevent an explosion of these rivalries.
Synodality is an integral component of Pope Francis’ larger goal to make Christianity more inclusive. He wants to return the Church back to its pastoral roots while simultaneously safeguarding its legacy.