Published On: Thu, Feb 20th, 2014

Herbert, Catherine Schaible plead no contest in murder of son for not seeking medical care, relying only on faith

A Pennsylvania couple who relied only faith-healing face 20 years or more in prison in the death of a second child, who died without seeing a doctor, AP reports.

Herbert and Catherine Schaible will be sentenced for death of their 8-month-old son, Brandon. Their other son, Kent, died from untreated pneumonia in 2009.

“We believe in divine healing, that Jesus shed blood for our healing and that he died on the cross to break the devil’s power,” said Herbert Schaible in a 2013 statement. He also said that medicine “is against our religious beliefs.”

A jury had convicted both parents of involuntary manslaughter in Kent’s death. They were put on ten years of probation that included orders to seek medical care if any other child became ill.

A lawyer for Catherine Schaible plans to explore their religious beliefs at the sentencing. The Schaibles are third-generation members of a small Pentecostal community, the First Century Gospel Church in northeast Philadelphia. Their pastor, Nelson Clark, has said that the couple lost their sons because of a “spiritual lack” in their lives and maintained they would not seek medical care even if another child was critically ill.

The Schaibles have pleaded no contest to third-degree murder in Brandon’s death. They have seven surviving children.

 Herbert and Catherine Schaible

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- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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