[quote="God_Seeker, post:1, topic:342959"]
If you go to confession and the priest says the penance involves something extremely difficult like never eating meat again, or never getting married again, or to pray kneeling on rocks for 1 hour each day, etc,etc, are all bound to obey?
In other words, are there limits to the penance?
The priest could always say "I am trying to reduce your time in purgatory", as a justification.
The penance should be in proportion to the sin committed, though, what one priest might think is fair could be different from another, since there are no set guidelines. But yes harsh penances like the ones you described could be given out if the confessor feels it is necessary, but as someone else pointed out, they can't be permanent, though if your confessor is also your spiritual director, then, I believe they can make it, not permanent, but long term.
The only limits I believe there are is that the penintent has to have the resources to do it, is physically able, and that it not lead to the sin being revealed publicly, this is why a priest can't ask the penintent to turn himself in if the sin has criminal implication as a penance, since this would publicly reveal his sin, though he can suggest that he turn himself in of his own free will.
And yes, the priest is correct in saying that the primary reason for penance is "to reduce your time in purgatory" Though, as with everything it should also lead you to grow closer in llove of God through Christ.