Before you go any further, you must first establish how you read the scriptures differently from those who read them as literalists. You do not. As a Catholic you read the scriptures and take them *literally *- or, in a literal sense. What is the difference?
Use this as an example: A person comes to you and says, “Paris, it is raining cats and dogs outside”. Do you think it is raining really hard? Then you are taking that sentence in a literal sense. Do you think cats and dogs are falling from clouds and bonking us on the head and splattering all over the sidewalks? Then you are regarding that sentence in a literalist sense.
Once that is established, begin your study and arguments. Remember, you must argue from LOVE and not frustration or anger or fear. Before you answer your friend, take time to pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your words and your mind.
Refer him to Matthew 16:18 - 19, 16:19 (gives Peter the Keys to the Kingdom, the power to bind and loose).
Luke 22:32 Peter’s faith will strenghthen his brethren
Mark 16:7 - an angel sent to announce Resurrection to Peter
Luke 24:34 risen Jesus first appeared to Peter
Now some will argue that because Jesus first appeared to St. Mary Magdalene that she would be the first Pope; however, she was not given the keys to the kingdom, the power to bind or to loose, and her names was not changed to signify the rock, or foundation, upon which the Christian Church will be built.
Catholics regard this passages as Jesus designating Peter as the foundation of our Church. We trace Apolstolic succession from Peter. That cannot be taken out of context and you must insist that your use the translations developed by St. Jerome and other early Church Fathers.
Matthew 18: 17-18 - ‘if he refuses to listen even to Church’
Matthew 28: 18-20 - go baptize and teach all nations
Mark 16:15-16 'go to whole world and proclaim the gospel
John 10:16 - one shepherd to shepherd Christ’s sheep.
The argument that Paul, being a prolific writer, proves that he did MORE than anyone else, including St. Peter, is a faulty argument. First, note that Paul sought our Peter to study under him, which implies that Paul recognized Peter’s authority or he would have sought out another of the Apostles.
The Roman Catholic Church does not rely solely upon the scriptures. However we do believe that the Church should be one - See Romans 16:17 advising us to avoid those who create dissensions and Paul’s own words in 1st Cor 11:2 commending the listeners for following Apostolic tradition.
Also, note to you friend that Peter’s name is always listed first when the names of the Apostles are listed. In fact, while Paul wrote more Peter’s name occurs 195 times, more than all the rest put together.
Since you are determined to keep this going, may I suggest you request that your friend keep his language from being offensive or demeaning. Refering to our beliefs as “loopy” shows a marked lack of respect or willingness to listen or consider your arguments. If he cannot do this with love, he is violating his own scripture.