Why wasn't Paul the first Pope?

Sorry about the new member bit, had to rejoin as the old one wouldn’t let me in!

Have been talking to a young man recently, who is slowly coming to faith. Have answered the usual stuff, why worship Mary, the pointless rosary etc, but he came up with a rather good question. As we follow the Bible, and most of the church dealings are from Pauline strictures, why isn’t Paul the first pope. Now I do understand the fact of Peter being the rock and Apostle, but when you strip away those bits, sit and think about it, which I have done gently sailing the Broads. Then it is an intriguing question, does Paul have a counter claim for the first Pope as he has lead the church in its early formations.
Please don’t rush into this and come up with the first thing that comes into your head, and couple it with a thousand bible quotes as proof. But reflect on it, and please give a scholarly answer, as it has me thinking!

The following links should assist you in better understanding the Catholic Church’s teaching on Peter as the first Pope. If you have any further questions or concerns that are not answered by these links, please contact Catholic Answers directly.

**Recommended Reading:
*]Peter the Rock
*]Is Peter the Rock in Matthew 16:18?
*]You Can’t Get Past this Rock
*]The House Built on Rock

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