Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane. (Photo: Wikipedia)
Pope Francis has no one in his small circle of advisers, known as the Council of Cardinals, who is from Oceania.
While the other continents have a seat in the seven-member "kitchen cabinet" or C7, Oceania's chair has been empty since October 2018. That's when the pope thanked Australian Cardinal George Pell for his services and removed him from the group.
There are three cardinals from Oceania who are all still under the age of 80 that could have easily taken the place of Pell — John Dew of New Zealand, John Ribat of Papua New Guinea and Soane Patita Mafi of Tonga.
But Francis did not choose any of them. And in the two consistories since Pell's vacancy, the pope did not make any new cardinals in Oceania.
It's too bad the red hat is a requirement to fill Pell's slot. Because if it weren't, the pope couldn't do any better than to choose Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane.