While secretary of state, Cardinal Bertone was sometimes criticized for his frequent travels, but he said at the presentation that "a secretary of state must travel and visit countries" because in addition to serving as a sort of 'prime minister', the office also is responsible for the Holy See's foreign relations. The Holy See maintains diplomatic ties with 179 nations worldwide.
While a possible reform of the Secretariat of State, within a larger reform of the Roman Curia, is widely discussed, Cardinal Bertone pointed out that "a secretary of state has the function of being collaborator, counselor, and faithful tool of a mission coming from the highest, and incarnated in the diverse and original personalities of the successors of Peter."
Also speaking at the book's presentation were Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States; Hans-Gert Poettering, a former president of the European Parliament; Fr. Federico Lombardi, Holy See press officer; and Vincenzo Buonomo, a law professor and editor of the work.
Archbishop Mamberti said that Vatican diplomacy is always concerned with building peace and fighting poverty, and that under Benedict XVI there was a particular concern for the "right use of reason, which leads to a real experience of religious freedom."
"Papal diplomacy, before being a vehicle for dialogue between civil and ecclesiastical communities, is 'first and foremost a tool of intra-ecclesial cohesion', a sign of that 'concern for all the Churches' that the Bishop of Rome has always demonstrated," he said.
He further asserted that "the diplomatic action of the Holy See is always oriented toward a positive good." Archbishop Mamberti explained that "even when the Holy See recalls some specific values," such as that of the dignity of human life, it is not a negative claim.