Which got me thinking. Of course, he wasn’t the first pope. Of course the papacy per se came much later.
But he WAS the first “Peter”. That is, he was the first to exercise the Petrine ministry in the Church, which existed right from the time Jesus told him to feed his sheep and strengthen his brothers.
Since then, there have been 264 “Peters”. Since at least the late second century, these “Peters” have been known as the “pope”. They were all chief pastors (“bishops”) of the Church of Rome.
So, to say Peter was “not the first pope” is just being contentious. The real point is not that Peter was the first Pope, but that the Pope is the 264th Peter.