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2nd prayer death: Parents negligent twice in healing of child

A couple was convicted in a 2nd prayer death of their children. Herbert and Catherine Schaible were sentenced to three-and-a-half to seven years in prison for the death of their two of their children in the name of religious devotion.

The Schaibles stood by faith-healing and as a result, their two children died -- a 2-year-old son last year from pneumonia and their sick 8-month-old the next time. The children were not taken to a doctor. The 2nd prayer death did not go over well with the judge, USA Today reported Feb. 19.

"You've killed two of your children ... not God, not your church, not religious devotion — you," Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner said.

The Schaibles are third-generation members of a Pentacostal community with the First Century Gospel Church, located in northeast Philadelphia.

Remorse was expressed by the couple for the deaths of their children, but they did not obey a court order that mandated they seek medical attention for them should they become sick again. The Shaibles have seven surviving children, according to the report.

Herbert Schaible explained to told police that medicine "is against" their religious beliefs and that they believe in "divine healing, that Jesus shed blood for our healing and that he died on the cross to break the devil's power."

Prior the 2nd prayer death incident, a jury convicted the Shaibles of involuntary manslaughter. They were put on 10 years of probation with an order for them to get medical attention for sick children. As the judge realized, they violated parole.

Pastor Nelson Clark, who was the Schaibles church leader, said the deaths of their sons was because of "spiritual lack." He said the parents refused to see a doctor if any of their children were near death.

It is hard to imagine any parent standing by to watch their child die in the name of some religious belief. If the help is there to save their own flesh and blood, how could they allow such suffering to go on in their children? One death was too many in this family, but the 2nd prayer death was intolerable.