what could they have possibly done? Accept illegitimate children of James II? That would have been a big problem. Call on Italian and French relations? Really there wasn't much to be done but die out and give it over to the protestants.
I've always regarded the whole catholic/protestant rivarly as nothing more than an excuse to fight, nothing more.
James II was a soveriegn was grown detached from his people long before he ever became king. He wanted to be an absolute monarch in an age of british history when that was no longer proper.