2Cor 11:5,6 But I do not think I am in the least inferior to those "super-apostles." I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way.
He's speaking factitiously here of course concerning "super-apostles". This is much along the lines he spoke in Galatians. "As for those who seemed to be important— whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance— those men added nothing to my message." ... "James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews." Gal 2:6,9 And he then goes on to share how he had to rebuke Peter for misbehavior. Though in this case in Corinthians he wasn't referring to the real apostles as a few verses later he speaks of false apostles.
But much of what corrupted the early church into Catholicism was elitism - leadership putting themselves above scrutiny and replacing the Word of God with their own opinions. Yet in Paul's day even the apostles were open to being scrutinized. In Acts 17:11 the Bereans were commended for scrutinizing Paul's teachings upon the basis of the scriptures being the standard of truth. Though Jesus and his apostles also proved by demonstrations of power that they spoke of the Word of God.
But here Paul is alluding to an issue which also arose in 1Corinthians, namely viewing leaders as celebrities, and following them not based on knowledge validated by miracles, but upon their charisma or popularity. Jesus himself experienced that in his ministry and discouraged it. (John 6:26+)