The church has the power to declare saints. That power sounds impressive, huh? Well not really, its less creating a saint and more giving them the title of saint because they already are one, and have proven it through miracles here on Earth have shown that they are in heaven.
It is God who decides who goes to heaven and hell, and it is he who knows their fate. If he reveals to us that particular brothers and sisters are there with him it is a very joyous occasion, but at the same time he ususally doesn’t tell us if people are in hell or purgatory. Even so I don’t know if Christ gave his church the ability to make such pronouncements. We, as people, arn’t to judge them, we could be there just as easily.
What is seen as power is really submission. A priest has so much power over a parish, but at the same time he has to feed the parish, be a servant of both his parishoners and his bishop. A bishop has such power, but he is responsible for the nuturing of millions of souls. He is a servant of him, and needs to be obidient to the pope. The pope must have ultimate power. In fact his power just is recognizing what God taught, nothing new, truth eternal. He is responsible to serve the whole church. All these people are servants of God, it is not them that are powerful, it is not the Church in and of itself that is powerful, it is God. He gives the gifts to feed his sheep, those who do not will have to face him.