The Catholic Church claims to have begun when Jesus looked at Peter and told him he would build his Church on this rock. It is argued to whether this comment was about Peter or about the revelation that Peter declared that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God , prompting this reaction by Jesus.
I believe that Jesus was commenting on the statement made by Peter since we know to receive salvation from the Lord we must first confess Jesus the Christ, believe in his death, resurrection, and assention into heaven and the power of his name. This is what Peter was doing when Jesus made the declaration.
Yet, the Catholic Church was the universal church at the beginning and so I believe they also have a point. Still we must let the Word of God declare who is the Church and we know that the Word tells us that his people are those who follow his Words and endear them in their hearts and obey them. Thus, many doctrines of the Catholics have went astray from this and today they are far from the truth.
I know because I was a Catholic for 30 years until I saw through all the false doctrine and converted into one who reads the Word of God and I follow it diligently. When I did this I was filled with his power and life has never been the same.
Let us let Jesus declare who is his Church in his own words. (look below)
John 14: Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.