● 2Pet 3:1-2 . .This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you; through them by way of reminder I am trying to stir up your sincere disposition, to recall the words previously spoken by the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and savior through your apostles.
Note the possessive pronoun "your" when Peter speaks of apostles. In other words; the original twelve apostles multiplied and spread out so as to perpetuate Jesus' hierarchical representation down here on the Earth.
So then, who are these "your apostles" about whom Peter speaks? We need to know because they stand in for Jesus; which is pretty serious because refusal to comply with their words is all the same as refusal to comply with the Lord and savior's commandment.
The Greek word for "apostle" is apostolos (ap-os'-tol-os) which basically refers to a delegate, i.e. an ambassador. The designation isn't limited to the original twelve; for example:
● Phil 2:25 . .With regard to Epaphroditus, my brother and co-worker and fellow soldier, your messenger and minister in my need, I consider it necessary to send him to you.
The Greek word for "messenger" in that verse is apostolos (ap-os'-tol-os). In other words; "your messenger" is the same as "your apostle".
I suggest that apostles like Epaphroditus are what's commonly known as Bishops; men entrusted with the spiritual welfare of not just one local church, rather, a number of local churches in a specific territory, i.e. a diocese.
Well; I know of nothing in the Bible preventing Bishops from having a senior Bishop in charge of all the other Bishops; viz: Cardinals. And again, I know of nothing in the Bible preventing Cardinals from having a senior Cardinal in charge of all the other Cardinals, viz: a pontiff.
The Roman Catholic Church's hierarchal structure is neither unbiblical, unreasonable, nor unusual. Practically every country and every government operates the very same way. In point of fact, even the angels in Heaven are similarly organized. We know that's so because there exists a cadre of celestial beings called archangels; which is from the Greek word archaggelos (ar-khang'-el-os) which means a chief angel. Well if there are chief angels, then there must be a cadre of lesser angels subordinate to the archangels; and so on down the line, with the whole structure captained by Christ; the angels' pontiff. (1Pet 3:22)
Now the thing is: nobody has to buy into The Church's hierarchical structure if they don't want (CCC 1782) however, once they accept the structure, then Peter expects them to get behind it.
● 1Pet 5:5 . .You younger members, be subject to the presbyters.