Judge rebukes couple who violated faith healing pledge

April 23, 2013 at 10:58 AM
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PHILADELPHIA, April 23 (UPI) -- A Pennsylvania couple have been rebuked by a judge for relying on faith healing rather than medical care to treat their sick baby, who died, officials say.

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Benjamin Lerner told Herbert and Catherine Schaible "you are a danger to your children," the Philadelphia Daily News reported Tuesday.

Investigators charge the couple, members of a fundamentalist church that believes in faith healing, prayed over their 8-month-old son, Brandon, as he cried and suffered from diarrhea for several days before his death Thursday.

"I am sorry for your loss," Lerner told the Schaibles. "But in all honesty, I am more sorry for the fact that this innocent little child will not be able to grow up to be what he wanted to be."

The couple were convicted in 2011 of involuntary manslaughter in the death of their 2-year-old son, Kent, from bacterial pneumonia in 2009. They received probation after telling a judge they would never again rely on faith more than medicine.

In the hearing Monday, Lerner lambasted the Schaibles for "knowingly, intentionally, hypocritically and callously" violating the terms of their probation.

The Schaibles were not charged on Monday as police are awaiting the results of an autopsy on the baby.

Their other seven children have been removed from the home.

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