In responding to the suggestion that the Catholic Church needs to modernize, a letter writer (TNT, 4-29) credits the church with more than 2,000 years of wisdom, dating back to the first pope, the apostle Peter.
The Official Catholic Directory lists a line of popes beginning with Peter, but for the first 400 years, these men were bishops of Rome, not popes. Secular history shows the rise of the papacy much later.
Peter, of course, was never a pope. When Jesus named him Petros (a piece of rock), he then said “Upon this Petra (a mass of rock) I will build my church.” The church is bult upon the “foundation of the apostles (all of the 12, including Peter) and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Eph. 2:20).
Picture the top of a pyramid. Jesus was not naming his own successor, and Peter, the humble fisherman, was never deemed infallible. Any claiming to be are anti (attempting to replace) Christ.