After decades of suffering and agony, Catholicism in Augsburg entered a phase of gradual recovery around 1550. The first half of the sixteenth century was characterised by the rapid expansion of the Reformation and the marginalisation of the Catholics in the town. At the zenith of Protestant predominance, the Lutherans even managed to force the entire Catholic clergy into exile from 1537 to 1547 and for a few months in 1552. The episcopate of Cardinal Otto Truchsess von Waldburg (1543-73), however, marked a turning point for Catholics in Augsburg. The Peace of Augsburg (1555) conceded political parity to the Catholic minority in town. Due to Otto von Waldburg's zealous activities, his severely decimated flock even managed to grow again slowly over the years.