Do we have data about the collaborators of Peter that would support an analogy between them and the Roman Curia? Do the letters of Paul testify to a variety of “co-workers” who might provide a vision illuminating the Curia and its reform? Where might we find some precedents, or at least some ancient analogy that could provide a vision for illuminating theologically a reform of the Roman Curia that would go beyond mere legal changes and a bureaucratic restructuring?
The letters of St. Paul, the Acts of the Apostles, and further New Testament sources report the exercise of apostolic leadership by Peter, Paul and others in the very early Church.
Peter himself left Jerusalem to preach, for instance, in Lydda and Joppa (Acts 9:32-43), but we know little of his missionary activity outside Palestine. His visit to Antioch prompted a famous difference with Paul (Gal 2:11-21); he was traditionally said to have become later the head (“bishop”) of its church. He may have visited Corinth (1 Cor 1:12). There is a possible reference to Peter’s activity in Rome (Rom 15:20), and he was martyred there, probably in A.D. 64.
It is only from long after his martyrdom that we have clear and convincing evidence of the existence of a monarchical Bishop of Rome. He may have written 1 Peter, a letter sent from Rome (1 Pet 5:13) to Christian communities in five Roman provinces (1 Pet 1:1). The ancient tradition about Peter being associated with Mark in writing the second gospel has been vigorously argued by Richard Bauckham.