For any who doubt that the Copts are (forbidden term), or who want to know what the term means, you can read a small book "The Nature of Christ
" by Pope Shenouda. This book is an apology for the monophysite position and the rejection of Chalcedon. Reading this book makes it clear that Pope Shenouda does not consider the problem to be the result of a linguistic misunderstanding, but rather that the Council of Chalcedon and the Tome of Leo are heretical. In fact, Pope Shenouda in this book is simply repeating the same arguments that were used by the Monophysites in the 5th century:"The Nature of Christ"http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/theology/nature_of_christ.pdf
I include a long quote from the book. Please note that Pope Shenouda does not reject the term "Monophysite" and substitute it with "Miaphysite" but only says the term has been misused by the "Diophysites" (most of the rest of us). He is asking that the term not be used pejoratively but correctly and theologically.
"The Divine nature (God the Word) was united with the human nature which He took of the Virgin Mary by the action of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit purified and sanctified the Virgin's womb so that the Child to whom she gave birth would inherit nothing of the original sin; the flesh formed of her blood was united with the Only-Begotten Son. This Unity took place from the first moment of the Holy Pregnancy in the Virgin's womb. As a result of the unity of both natures-the Divine and the human-inside the Virgin's womb, one nature was formed out of both: "The One Nature of God the Incarnate Logos" as St. Cyril called it.
"The Holy Church did not find an expression more reliable, deep and precise than that which was used by St. Cyril the Great, and which St. Athanasius the Apostolic used before him. Both of them were true leaders in the theological field worldwide. When I participated in the dialogue arranged by the Pro-Oriente group in Vienna, Austria in September 1971 between the Roman Catholic Church and the ancient
Oriental Orthodox Churches concerning the Nature of Christ, the point of discussion was St. Cyril's expression "One Nature of God the Incarnate Logos" (Mia Physis Tou Theou Logou Sesarkwmene).
"After the schism which took place in the year 451 A.D., when the Coptic Orthodox Church rejected the motions of the Council of Chalcedon and its theological struggles, we were called "Monophysites" that is, those who believe in the "One Nature".
Sharing our belief are the Syrians, the Armenians, the Ethiopians and the Indians; who were also called "Non-Chalcedonian" Orthodox Churches. On the other hand, the Chalcedonian Catholic and Creek Churches "The Roman Orthodox" believe in the two natures of Christ; the Protestant Churches also hold this belief.
"Consequently, these churches are known as "Diophysites" - believers in the two natures of Christ.
"The Roman - or Chalcedonian - Orthodox Churches include those of
Constantinople, Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Romania, Hungary and Serbia as well as the Roman Orthodox Churches of Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, America and the St. Catherine Monastery in the Sinai desert.
"The term "Monophysites" used for the believers in the One Nature has been intentionally or unintentionally misinterpreted throughout certain periods of history. Consequently, the Coptic and the Syrian Churches in particular were cruelly persecuted because of their belief, especially during the period which started from the Council of Chalcedon held in 451 A,D. and continued to the conquest of the Arabs in Egypt and
Syria (about 641 A.D.).
"This misinterpretation continued along history as though we believed in one nature of Christ and denied the other nature. We wonder which of the two natures the Church of Alexandria denies?
"Is it the Divine nature? Certainly not, for our Church was the most fervent defender against the Arian heresy in the Council of Nicea, held in the year 325 A.D., as well as before and after that. Or is it The Lord's human nature that the Church of Alexandria denies? St. Athanasius of Alexandria resolved this entirely in the oldest and greatest book on this subject The Incarnation of the Word,
"The expression "One Nature" does not indicate the Divine nature alone nor the human nature alone, but it indicates the unity of both natures into One Nature which is "The Nature of the Incarnate Logos".
"The same applies when we speak about our human nature which comprises two united natures: the soul and the body. Thus, man's nature is not the soul alone nor the body alone, but their union in one nature called human nature. We will discuss this point in detail later on.
"St. Cyril the Great taught us not to talk about two natures after their unity. So we can say that the Divine nature united hypostatically with the human nature within the Virgin's womb, but after this unity we do not ever speak again about two natures of Christ. In fact, the expression "two natures" implies in itself division or separation, and although those who believe in "the two natures" admit unity, the tone of separation was obvious in the Council of Chalcedon - a matter which prompted us to reject the Council and caused the exile of St. Dioscorus of Alexandria.
".....Following the same trend, Leo, the Bishop of Rome, accordingly declared his famous Tome which was rejected by the Coptic Church. But the Council [Chalcedon] accepted and voted for it, thus confirming that two natures existed in Christ after their unity: a Divine nature performing its functions and a human nature carrying out its role."
I recommend this book by Pope Shenouda, no mean theologian, to any who doubt that his theological position is classical monophysitism.