'Faith-Healing Mom' Charged in Baby's Death Is Out of Jail, But Her Husband Isn't So Lucky

faith-healing mom catherine schaibleCatherine Schaible, the Philadelphia mother who was charged with the murder of her baby son after praying for him rather than getting him medical care, is out free on bail. Schaible, 43, was released from jail on Friday after the judge set her bail at $250,000 and ordered that Schaible must live at her parent's house under electronically supervised "house arrest."

Schaible and her 44-year-old husband, Herbert, are charged with third degree murder in the death of their 8-month-old son Brandon. The couple was already on 10 years probation for the 2009 death of their 2-year-old son Kent who died of pneumonia (they were convicted of involuntary manslaughter in that death). The terms of that probation specificed that they seek "medical care for their remaining children."

The Schaibles are members of the First Century Gospel Church, and as such they show their faith in God by turning to prayer rather than medicine to cure illness.

Under the conditions of her bail, Schaible can leave the house only to go to court, to talk to her attorney or to visit with her 7 children (the visits are court supervised). The children range in age from 8 to 17, and are currently in foster care.

The court refused to grant bail to Schaible's husband. It's not clear what that judge's reasoning was, but Catherine Schaibel's attorney has said Catherine bears less responsibility in her children's deaths because the couple followed church teachings that a wife must be "submissive to her husband."

This is such a complicated case. If you practice a religion other than  the Schaible's -- or no religion at all -- it's difficult to understand how someone could have so much faith in their beliefs that they risk the lives of not one, but two of their children. Yet people do all kinds of things in the name of religion that are hard for others to comprehend but we respect their beliefs. It's hard to know where to draw the line.

If there's any substance to Mrs. Schaible's attorney's claim that she is less culpable because she was following her husband's orders, things get even more complex -- and heartbreaking. It means Catherine so believed in her faith that she couldn't contradict her husband's apparent mandate that they not seek medical care for their sick son. And she had to follow his orders on this not once, but twice -- the second time knowing the tragic way things ended for her son Kent just 3 years earlier. Awful.


Do you think Catherine Schaible should have got bail? Do you think she even belongs in jail in the first place?



religion, medicine


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nonmember avatar Common sense

She'll be pregnant with her next victim before her next court date. This isn't religion-it's a sick blind cult. Though that sounds like most religions I don't have anything against the ones that promote positivity. She's definitely a murderer.

AniAngel AniAngel

Cathrine belongs in jail forever. No sympathy. It is easy to know where to draw the line in respecting religious beliefs, if your belief puts your child in a life threatening situation then it's illegal, period.

Rache... RachelsMercy

If you kill your kid or allow them to die, just claim it was your religion!! You'll get off with probation. That woman who threw her son into the wall for stealing gum, and wouldn't take him to the doctor should have just said it was against her religion to take him to the doctor and she "prayed" for him to get better.

jalaz77 jalaz77

She needs to be put away for good. I remember this and was pissed hearing she had done this before, gets her freedom back again. What a joke.

lizilli lizilli

I can respect anothers religious beliefs without the extreme of allowing a child or two to die.  Both of these people belong in jail and the "faith" that they treasured more than the life of two babies, is a cult of unspeakable horror for prefering prayer to care.  Two dead babies is inexcusable and horrific and what passes for a religion is at fault for the unyeilding belief in prayer over what the eyes of the parents saw, two times, as their babies suffered and died.

Angela Michelle

I don't know. The amish don't vaccinate or go to the doctors very often. What about back in the day when all they had was primitive medicine and faith healers? There are places in this world that laugh at us because we in america value our mortality so much. I'm on the fence about this one.

Abby Lee

put her sorry ass in jail forever.she belongs in jail..

nonmember avatar sharon

i think its perfectly fine to practice "religion" and in her case it sounds like standard biblical teachings, BUT! one must use wisdom as well and we also shouldnt throw our religious beliefs on our children who depend on us and need us until they are big enough to say themselves that they "dont want to be seen by professional drs". so in this case they shouldnt have withheld that poor baby from being seen that was not Gods intention that is why he made drs and medicine...IMO they have been going to the wrong church, smh so sad and happens so often. :(

Kim Driver

Definitely not acceptable. She violated her probation terms, so she gets to go on comfy house arrest instead of jail, because she cries religion?! That's insane. It makes me think of people crying religion when they bomb buildings, quite frankly. We don't make allowances for them, so neither should we for her. So what's next then, they find kids in another house run over by bugs, filth and laying in their own feces and let those parents cry religion too?! Let her and hubby rot in jail and pray about it.

nonmember avatar CD

Some people believe that faith is much stronger than our western medicine and its wrong to force western meds on anyone most doctors just want to give a prescription. This is very difficult because if they truly believe in prayer then they probably also believe God didn't save for a reason!

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