An advisor to Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, has attacked gay rights and the “feminisation of masculinity”.

Edmund Adamus, the influential director of pastoral affairs for the Diocese of Westminster, was speaking three weeks before Pope Benedict XVI visit Britain.

Using biblical language, he spoke about the role of women and the importance of heterosexual marriage.

He said that Britain was a “selfish, hedonistic wasteland” and blamed liberals for the “commercialisation of sex”.

He also attacked “permissive laws advancing the gay agenda”.

Mr Adamus told Catholic news agency Zenit: “More and more people are beginning to realise that the feminisation of masculinity and the laddish culture that haunts the development of young girls and women is not providing the answers to life’s deepest questions.

“Britain in particular, with its ever-increasing commercialisation of sex, not to mention its permissive laws advancing the gay agenda, is such a wasteland.”

Mr Adamus also claimed that the contraceptive pill causes infertility.

He said: “The rising levels of sub-fertility and chronic infertility due to long-term use of hormonal contraception is a key factor to address, because the pain of being childless can put such a huge strain on a marriage.”

His comments were attacked by gay and secular figures.

Gay activist Peter Tatchell told the Independent that the remarks were “insulting but not unexpected”, while Keith Porteous-Wood, of the National Secular Society, claimed that “most” British Catholics were “sickened” by church teachings on homosexuality and contraception.