I have a good idea that those spreading the claim in question probably didn't stop to actually read the official document. They are most likely repeating the words of those who also didn't read the official document.
Here is the official quote in context.
I am writing this to those who want to know the truth about what the Pope actually said and not rely on their own or others preconceived notions. Despite what people are saying he didn't say the cross was a failure. He didn't say christ's redemption was or is a failure. The Pop wouldn't say that because that would be wrong.
"We can get caught up measuring the value of our apostolic works by the standards of efficiency, good management and outward success which govern the business world. Not that these things are unimportant! We have been entrusted with a great responsibility, and God’s people rightly expect accountability from us. But the true worth of our apostolate is measured by the value it has in God’s eyes. To see and evaluate things from God’s perspective calls for constant conversion in the first days and years of our vocation and, need I say, it calls for great humility. The cross shows us a different way of measuring success. Ours is to plant the seeds: God sees to the fruits of our labors. And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and produce no fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus… and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, in the failure of the cross."
Note the words "humanly speaking." He means that to those who didn't believe in Christ it seemed as though he was a failure. The Romans and the Jewish leadership wanted Christ dead and they got it! But they were unbelievers. To them Christ failed his mission little did they know his mission had only begun!
Next time you hear a claim that the Pope or a Pope said
Read the official document here.
By Joanne Utke