Faced with Zod’s ultimatum, Clark wrestles with revealing himself to the world for humanity’s sake and uses Father Leone as a sounding board. There’s much more to unpack here but a common objection raised is the question of why Clark spoke with a clergyman instead of his own mother?
Detractors will often immediately launch into an attack against allegedly marketing-driven overtures to court the religious and claim the film missed out on Clark’s parents providing him counsel. However, if one takes a moment to empathize with the characters, the answer becomes immediately apparent… consider Clark’s homecoming with Martha, occurring right before Zod’s ultimatum:
Martha: I’m so happy for you, Clark.
Martha: It’s nothing. [Recounts raising him.] And I worried all the time.
Clark: You worried the truth would come out.
Martha: No. The truth about you is beautiful. We saw that the moment we laid eyes on you. We knew one day the whole world would see that. I’m just… I’m worried they’ll take you away from me.
Clark: I’m not going anywhere, Mom.
In other words, Martha’s greatest fear and worry, that the discovery of Clark’s people would lead to them threatening to take him away from her, has just literally come true! Moreover, Clark has just told her that he’s not going anywhere, even if he knows in his heart of hearts he must.
As valuable as Martha’s counsel may be in this situation, Clark was raised to love and protect his mother. As an adult, Clark shoulders this burden rather than burdening his mother.
Clark spares his mother the heartbreak of having to tell him to sacrifice himself or his own resolve if she begs him to save himself.
It is completely sensible that Clark would talk to someone other than Martha. Now why Father Leone instead of some of the other candidates? That’s another post!