In Bucha, the 68-year-old archbishop prayed at the site of a former mass grave and was shown photographs of the exhumation, remarking afterward: “This is truly a horror.”
“We are witnesses of this, of the sufferings and martyrdom of this country,” he told Vatican News, the Holy See’s online news portal.
In the press conference, the English archbishop said that his meeting with Kuleba and his visit to the three “most martyred cities” enabled him to “touch the wounds of the Ukrainian people and hear their passionate plea for peace.”
“My visit is intended to demonstrate the closeness of the Holy See and Pope Francis to the Ukrainian people, particularly in light of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine,” Gallagher said.
“And I assure you that both the Holy Father and his closest collaborators, including myself, suffer greatly from the many deaths, violence of all sorts, the devastation of cities and infrastructure, the separation of so many families, and the millions of displaced people and refugees.”
Gallagher is the third papal envoy to travel to Ukraine at Pope Francis’ request. Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, the papal almoner, brought an ambulance blessed and donated by the pope to Lviv, western Ukraine, in March. Cardinal Michael Czerny, the prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, made multiple visits to meet with refugees on the Ukrainian border.