[quote=anonymousguy]How would Catholics respond to the claim that Peter was not the first bishop of Rome nor did he preach to the gentile Romans in Rome because he only preached to the Jews (using Galatians 2:7-8 as evidence of this)?
“But on the contrary, when they saw that the gospel for the uncircumcised had been committed to me, as the gospel for the circumcised was to Peter (for He who worked effectively in Peter for the apostleship to the circumcised also worked effectively in me toward the Gentiles)” (Galatians 2:7-8)
Galatians 2:7-8 is far from proving that Peter did not preach the gospel to Gentiles. Scripture says Peter in fact did preach to Gentiles (Acts 10:1-48, 15:7). Galatians 2:7-8 seems to refer to the meeting in Jerusalem described in Acts 15. If that is the case and at that time the task of bringing the gospel to Gentiles was entrusted to Paul exclusively and bringing the gospel to the Jews was entrusted to Peter exclusively, then after that time one would expect that Paul did not preach to Jews. But this is not what happened. After the meeting in Jerusalem, Scripture says that Paul continued to preach the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles. For example, Paul preached to the Jews at Thessalonica (Acts 17:1), at Beroea (Acts 17:10), at Athens (Acts 17:17), at Corinth (Acts 18:4), and at Ephesus (Acts 18:19). Acts does not mention Peter’s missionary activity after Acts 15 but, since Paul, the ‘Apostle to the Gentiles’, preached to both Jews and Gentles, there is no reason to believe that Peter, the ‘Apostle to the Jews,’ did not likewise preach to both Jews and Gentiles.
Also, if Peter did not preach to Gentiles, what business did Peter have in writing his first epistle, an exhortation to Gentile Christians to stand firm in the faith?
1Since therefore Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same thought, for whoever has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2so as to live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer by human passions but by the will of God. 3Let the time that is past suffice for doing what the Gentiles like to do, living in licentiousness, passions, drunkenness, revels, carousing, and lawless idolatry. 4They are surprised that you do not now join them in the same wild profligacy, and they abuse you; 5but they will give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. (1 Peter 4:1-5)