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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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SPECIES

Appearances, especially those of bread and wine, after the Eucharistic consecration. The term "species" is used by the Council of Trent (Denzinger 1652) to identify the accidents, i.e., the size, weight, color, resistance, tase, and odor of bread, which remain exactly the same after transubstantiation. They are not mere appearances as though these physical properties were unreal. But they are appearances because after the consecration they lack any substance that underlies them or in which they inhere.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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