The pair are said to be working with British lawyers to see if the pope can be arrested for his part in the alleged cover-up of widespread sexual abuse in the Catholic Church during a visit to the United Kingdom in September. Last year, Israel's foreign minister Tzipi Livni was forced to cancel a planned trip to Britain after a British judge was persuaded by Palestinian activists to issue a warrant for her arrest over her role Israel's invasion of Gaza in 2008.
The Vatican has suggested that the pope is immune to prosecution as he is a head of state - Dawkins and Hitchens believe that he is not immune as the Vatican is not represented at the United Nations.
Last month Dawkins wrote a scathing article for the Washington Post in which he called the pope:
A leering old villain in a frock, who spent decades conspiring behind closed doors for the position he now holds; a man who believes he is infallible and acts the part; a man whose preaching of scientific falsehood is responsible for the deaths of countless AIDS victims in Africa; a man whose first instinct when his priests are caught with their pants down is to cover up the scandal and damn the young victims to silence.
Hitchens told the Sunday Times of London: "This man is not above or outside the law. The institutionalized concealment of child rape is a crime under any law and demands not private ceremonies of repentance or church-funded payoffs, but justice and punishment."