By a kind of poetic justice, Peter has been the center of a number of historical contradictions, or perhaps we should say traditional, for many of them lack the dignity of authentic history. They are the fabrications of the Roman special pleaders who will make a case for themselves even if they must assassinate truth to do it. Peter is, for instance, the only man in the world who was never married and yet had a mother-in-law; for the Bible says Peter's wife's mother lay sick of a fever, and Rome says he was not married. He was, according to legend, the first pope, yet Paul crowded him out of first place and eclipsed him easily. That first pope took a position of meek deference before Paul, a position so definitely below him that one wonders how things got that way. If Peter was pope and not Paul, why did the great official pronouncements issue from Paul and not from Peter? It is all very confusing, but not much more so than Peter himself.
Well, the good old man of God cannot be blamed for the position Rome has given him. He was long gone from the hustle and bustle of the world before anyone thought of making him a lifelong bachelor and the vicegerent of Christ on earth. Such doubtful honors he shares with Mary the mother of Christ, who in her simple modesty would be shocked speechless if she could know what manufactured glories are being accorded her now by purblind leaders of the blind.