Was Peter Really the First Pope?
Was St. Peter really the first pope?
Yes, Peter was the first pope. The best sources to testify to that reality are the Bible and the Church Fathers. Here are several Catholic Answers resources to aid you in demonstrating that historical reality: our tracts on “Peter and the Papacy,” “The Origins of Peter as Pope,” and “Peter’s Primacy,” as affirmed by the Church Fathers. See also our booklet Pillar of Fire, Pillar of Truth.
In addition, examine any reputable secular history of the early Church. Even if the historian doesn’t like the Catholic Church, he'll affirm the historical reality of the existence of the papacy versus the Protestant belief that the Church was an “invisible reality” of all those who professed belief in Christ.