Based upon what the word "pope" means.
Catholics recognize Peter as their first temporal leader. It has nothing to do with being in Rome. The Pope could never once set foot in Rome and he still would be the Pope.
"Based upon what the word "pope" means."
Pope is translated as "father". If your giving the title "father" to whomever runs your church, that's your business. Peter was never a "super Apostle" he was one of twelve. If you were going to give a title to the "top" Apostle the evidence would rest with James the brother of Jesus, or John the Apostle who never ran away.