Devil blamed in faith-healing trial

Dec. 9, 2010 at 6:25 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- A Philadelphia man on trial in the death of his son said the devil was responsible, as he and the boy's mother prayed for faith healing, a jury heard.

Herbert Schaible, 42, and his wife Catherine, 41, are charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of their 2-year-old son because they prayed over him instead of taking him to see a doctor, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday.

An autopsy found Kent Schaible died after a two-week battle with bacterial pneumonia, the newspaper said.

The Schaibles are members of a church that teaches that seeking medical care demonstrates lack of faith in God.

In the second day of the couple's trial, a social worker testified about his visit to the home to check on the welfare of their six other children after the toddler died.

Herbert Schaible told him "it was the first child who had ever died with their method of using prayer to get healthy," Kenneth Dixon, of the Department of Human Services, said.

"They believe in divine intervention," he said. "Their children had never gone to a doctor or taken medication.

"We tried to fight the devil, but in the end the devil won," Dixon testified Herbert Schaible said.

The Schaibles were unwavering on the issue of medical care, Dixon said, even just days after their son's death.

"They said they believe it's God's will and they will accept whatever happens," Dixon told the jury.

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