The Church cannot nullify a marriage nor can it make a saint.
Talk to certain conical lawyer type friends of mine and they get their ecclesial underwear in a bunch if you start talking about getting somebody an annulment.
“No such thing! It’s misleading!”
Their point is that “granting someone an annulment” sounds a little bit too much like the Church was able to take something both licit and valid and magically turn it into something that never existed. This is something that the Church has no ability to do and why they make such a big fuss in the nullity process.
“A better way of putting it is that a person is applying for a declaration of nullity.”
What’s the difference you ask? The first case sounds a bit more like the Church granting something beyond its power. The second case is closer to the truth of the Church recognizing something that, in reality, exists. That is why whatever it is that may be grounds for a decree of nullity must be present, in some fashion, from the beginning of the marriage. There was a significant defect in the vows that prevented the union from being what it should be. In a decree of nullity the Church merely recognizes what exists (or, in the case, does not exist.)
It is the same thing with saints. The Church does not “make” saints. It recognizes saints. And the saints that it recognizes are certainly not the only saints that there are. I think my Mom might be a saint but that does not seem to have a universal significance. This does not lessen the achievement. We are all called to be saints. But some saints continue to have a universal (or at least national) pull on our spiritual life.
So some of these are brought to the attention of the Church who scrutinizes them mercilessly. It is the reason the Church looks for miracles. You and I know God does not need saints in order to grant miracles. But it is a great mercy of God that He allows it to happen. In allowing a favor through, let’s say, Saint John Paul II, God accomplishes several things: shows that we are one body in Christ with Christ as the head, that life does indeed continue, and that here was a life worth living that now shares in the glory of God and you should imitate it. It is at this point the Church feels safe in recognizing the person as an official saint, but it does not “make” them a saint.