In the previous days, Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has been constantly criticizing and scolding the prosecution team with their supposed incompetence during the impeachment trial sessions.
Just recently, the senator-judge was involved with a confrontation with prosecution lawyer Vitaliano Aguirre, when it was discovered he was covering his ears while Miriam was having a speech. Aguirre was cited for contempt for disrespecting the impeachment court.
And yesterday, during a Sunday mass by Fr. Catalino Arevalo, former president Corazon Aquino's spiritual adviser, he said (although indirectly) that Senator Santiago could be "worthy of the fires of hell", particularly referring to Miriam's continuous tirade to the prosecution team and her "gago" (fool) remarks during last week's trial session.
The priest quoted Matthew 5:20 during his homily: “But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgement. And if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council. And if you say, 'You fool,' you will be liable to the fires of hell."
But Miriam hit back and defended herself of Fr. Arevalo's allegations.
"Under Vatican 2, there is no hell; but even if there is, there is nobody there", she said in a statement. Reports came out that Miriam even dared Fr. Arevalo of the debate about "hell".
Miriam has a Master of Arts in Religious Studies degree at the Maryhill School of Theology in Metro Manila.
Miriam also learned about the priest "approaching" certain journalist, so his homily would be reported by the media.
"It is like St. Paul writing letters to the Corinthians, and begging them to publicize his letters. This priest sounds very much like a publicity hound. And I thought humility in spiritual matters is a virtue," she said.
"They are not special people just because they have joined a religious community. It does not make them any more smarter or holier than you and me,” she added, stating that priests and nuns should also be treated "like everyone else".
"The Constitution provides for a wall of separation between Church and State. A priest cannot violate the law in the guise of criticizing a senator-judge with the ulterior motive of promoting his own political agenda," she added.
Instead, Santiago said Arevalo should "spend his energy fighting pedophilia within the Catholic Church, instead of meddling in politics and serving to divide church practitioners."
Sources: GMA News, Inquirer