Without going into all the intricate detail, I joined the Catholic Church about 8 years ago after being raised in a protestant tradition. I married a “cradle Catholic” some years before and we both pretty much knew that I would never become a Catholic. Well, after some period of soul searching and investigation, I did eventually join the Catholic faith and very much felt like I had “come home.”
I joined the faith as I understood and found it those 8 years ago. As a result, I did not specifically research Vatcian II reforms, but I can comment on my perception of a few reforms that I believe greatly facilitated my conversion process.
First, my perception is that Vatican II re-emphasized the “scripture” component of the “scripture and tradition” interelation in the Cathoic faith. This is, of course, primarily based on my own personal experience and relationships with the Catholics I know from the pre- and post- Vatican II eras.
Ironically, I realize that the New American Bible was a product of this reform and I am not all that impressed with it. The quality of the translation may be debatable, but I think its well established that the study or footnotes associated with various editions are suspect and misleading with respect to the tenets of the Catholic faith.
Second, I feel that conduction of the mass in one’s native language enables the typical layperson to have a fuller understanding of all that is actually happening. The numerous references to scripture and salvation history are quite evident, and it is readily apparent that through the mass we are actively participating with the Heavenly Host. I believe that much of this connection would be lost for myself and my young family if the mass were being conducted in Latin. (Granted, I have never actually experienced a Latin mass, and I do think it would be nice to attend one on an occasional basis).
Third, I like the fact that the priest faces the congregation during the consecration of the Eucharist. I feel very much that I am part of the ritual in its current form. However, this is more of a preference for me than is my second point above.
These are some of the Vatican II reforms that I think cleared stumbling blocks with respect to my joining the Catholic Church. Obviously, the Church should not alter its practices just to attract potential converts. However, I believe many protestant converts would share in my opinions expressed above.