A Philadelphia jury today convicted a Northeast Philadelphia couple of involuntary manslaughter for praying for the health of their 2-year-old son instead of getting him medical care.

Herbert Schaible, 42, and his wife Catherine, 41,of Rhawnhurst, were also convicted of endangering the welfare of a child in the Jan. 24, 2009 death of their son, Kent, from bacterial pneumonia.

In statements to police, the Schaibles said Kent was ill with what to them seemed like a heavy cold or flu that lasted about two weeks. The parents said they prayed over the child and put him to bed on Jan. 24, 2009 and discovered later he was dead.

The Schaibles are members of First Century Gospel Church in Juniata Park, a fundamentalist Christian congregation that teaches faith healing through prayer and considers medical care a lack of faith in God.

Contact Joseph A. Slobodzian at 215-854-2985 or jslobodzian@phillynews.com.

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