Of course, I don’t believe Peter was the first Pope, because the Bible doesn’t teach or even imply it. But the Bible DOES teach that Peter was married.
In the interest of fairness, the Catholic Church did not formally forbid the clergy to marry until the Lateran councils of the early 12thcentury. So using Peter as an example against the demanded celibacy of the Catholic hierarchy is not proper.
But the Catholic Church magnifies Peter as the greatest of all the popes. For example, in the engraved list of popes in St Peter’s Basilica, Peter’s name is MUCH larger than all the other popes listed. Also, Peter’s bronze statue has had the feet rubbed smooth from all the people rubbing them and kissing them through the centuries. Given this, one would think that Peter’s lifestyle would also be one worthy of emulation. The synoptic gospels mention Jesus healing Peter’s mother in law, and Paul noted that Peter’s wife accompanied him during his work as an apostle (1 Cor 9:5). So why not continue what was obviously good for Peter?
The difficulty lies in the failure to remain true New Testament teaching. Much of what we see practiced in Catholicism today was borrowed from paganism and integrated into the life and teaching of the catechism.
For example, in Matthew 6, Jesus instructs His disciples in the matter of prayer. In verses 7-8, He mentions the vain repetition of the heathen, that is, the pagans of the day. We see this pagan practice of vain repetitions integrated into Catholicism in the rosary and hail Mary.
Another pagan practice is the gnostic philosophy of severe self-discipline known as asceticism. In 1 Timothy 4:1-5 this error included forbidding to marry and abstaining from foods (cf Col 2:20-23), both of which are incorporated into Catholic doctrine.
Most of the religious world has incorporated a Catholic error into their own practice, namely the celebration of Christmas. Christmas has its origins in the pagan festival of Saturnalia. Pagan celebrations associated with Saturnalia were borrowed and integrated into Catholic life and teaching, including the date.
“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col 3:17).