The First Pope
There have been many discussions regarding the question of who was the first Pope of the Catholic Church?
The majority of discussions regarding this question refer to Saint Peter, with some saying that he was the first Roman Catholic Church Pope, while others oppose that idea. However, according to the Catholic Church, there is no doubt that Peter was first Pope. Even on the list of popes, Saint Peter heads the list, appearing as the first Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.
The bible is normally interpreted differently by different people, but the Catholic Church has remained adament regarding its strong belief that Peter was the first Bishop of Rome and the head of the entire Catholic Church. Peter was Andrew’s brother (the sons of John); they were both fishermen. It was Andrew (Peter’s brother) who introduced him to Jesus Christ, and once they retired from fishing and became disciples of Jesus, they were referred to as “fishers of men”. Peter means “rock”, and his story is extensively discussed in the bible’s New Testament.
There are several scriptures that have been quoted in the bible, serving as proof that Peter was given the authority to be the leader of Catholic Church, by Jesus himself. The first scripture is from John 21: 15-17 which says: “Feed my lambs, feed my lambs, feed my sheep”. According to the Catholics, this was the message that Jesus gave to Peter, giving him the superintendency of all His sheep; sheep being the followers of His Church. Another message appears in the book of Mathew 16:17-20 which says, “I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” These two scriptures have formed the basis of the fact that indeed Saint Peter was the first Pope of the Catholic Church.
Even today, there are structures that were built in the Vatican, Rome, in honor of Saint Peter as the first Pope of Rome. For instance, there are the St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica; these are among the holiest places in Vatican City, and have attracted millions of people from across the world. St. Peter’s Square is the place where the largest papal audiences meet for Pope’s blessings and masses. There is also St. Peter’s tomb inside St. Peter’s Basilica. This is where St. Peter is believed to have been buried, and it is the official burial place hosting several Popes’ tombs.
Therefore, the Catholics believe that St. Peter was the first Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, and that every Pope is a subsequent follower of St. Peter.