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Who was the first pope?

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[[File:St-peter.jpg|thumbnail|left|300px|St. Peter in Saint Peter's Square]]
Traditionally, in the Roman Catholic Church, St. Peter (formally Simon) is regarded as the first pope in spite of the fact that the word “pope” would not have been attributed to Peter himself. There are several separate, interwoven theological concepts that explain the specific relation between Peter and the papacy: the primacy of Peter, petrine function, and apostolic succession. First, we will turn to an examination of St. Peter in the Gospel of Matthew, which is of specific importance for understanding the primacy of Peter, and then examine the concepts of petrine function and apostolic succession.

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